SYDNEY, AUSTALIA — Quantum engineers in Australia, who are working on developing a scalable supercomputer with silicon chips (known as qubits), have demonstrated a way to monitor information stored in the electrons of individual atoms.
Announced on Tuesday by the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology team, the successful demonstration of the compact sensor is being heralded as a major breakthrough for quantum technologies and could help pave the way for a new generation of computing.
“To monitor even one qubit, you have to build multiple connections and gates around individual atoms, where there is not a lot of room,” Professor Michelle Simmons at UNSW said.
“What’s more, you need high-quality qubits in close proximity so they can talk to each other — which is only achievable if you’ve got as little gate infrastructure around them as possible.”
Previously, four gates were required for one qubit; one to control and three to read it.
But now with the new sensor, it only requires two gates for each qubit; one to control and one to read.
According to the team, single-gate reading of qubits now has the ability to perform the necessary quantum error correction for a scalable quantum computer.
“Not only is our system more compact, but by integrating a superconducting circuit attached to the gate we now have the sensitivity to determine the quantum state of the qubit by measuring whether an electron moves between two neighbouring atoms,” lead author Prasanna Pakkiam said.
“And we’ve shown that we can do this real-time with just one measurement — single shot — without the need to repeat the experiment and average the outcomes.”
By the year 2022, the team at UNSW plan to produce a 10-qubit demonstration device as they continue to develop the technology for a commercial scale silicon-based quantum computer.