Qubits in Silicon

Scientists and engineers at the University of New South Wales in Australia have designed a 3D silicon chip architecture that’s compatible with atomic-scale fabrication techniques. The design is based on single atom quantum bits and will provide a blueprint to build a large-scale quantum computer. This presents a huge leap in the race to develop scalable quantum computers in silicon, the most preferred material in the computing and microelectronics industry.

In the study, the team was able to demonstrate a fabrication strategy for creating devices at the atomic scale that uses silicon to develop quantum bits (qubits), which are the fundamental components in quantum computers.

From Classical to Quantum

In traditional computers, data is always rendered in only one of two states, represented by 0 and 1. In quantum computing, data is rendered using quantum bits, which exist in both states of 0 and 1 at the same time. This is called superposition. By exploiting this condition, qubit operations can perform computations in parallel.

Study co-author and director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology (CQC2T) Scientia Professor Michelle Simmons explained the team’s plan towards full-scale architecture in a study published in Science Advances, saying "We have demonstrated we can build devices in silicon at the atomic-scale and have been working towards a full-scale architecture where we can perform error correction protocols -- providing a practical system that can be scaled up to larger numbers of qubits."

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