Tech News: Reliable Quantum Computing Array

wildcat2030:

Team builds ‘reliable’ array for quantum computing

University of California, Santa Barbara Original Study

Physicists are closer to making a quantum computer a reality by demonstrating a new level of reliability in a five-qubit array. A fully functional quantum computer is one of the holy grails of physics. Unlike conventional computers, the quantum version uses qubits (quantum bits), which make direct use of the multiple states of quantum phenomena. When realized, a quantum computer will be millions of times more powerful at certain computations than today’s supercomputers. Quantum computing relies on aspects of quantum mechanics such as superposition. This notion holds that any physical object, such as an atom or electron—what quantum computers use to store information—can exist in all of its theoretical states simultaneously. This could take parallel computing to new heights. “Quantum hardware is very, very unreliable compared to classical hardware,” says Austin Fowler, a staff scientist in the physics department at the University of California, Santa Barbara, whose theoretical work inspired the experiments. “Even the best state-of-the-art hardware is unreliable. Our paper shows that for the first time reliability has been reached.” While Fowler and colleagues have shown logic operations at the threshold, the array must operate below the threshold to provide an acceptable margin of error. “Qubits are faulty, so error correction is necessary,” says graduate student and co-lead author Julian Kelly, who worked on the five-qubit array. “We need to improve and we would like to scale up to larger systems,” says lead author Rami Barends, a postdoctoral fellow with the group. “The intrinsic physics of control and coupling won’t have to change but the engineering around it is going to be a big challenge.” (via Team builds ‘reliable’ array for quantum computing | Futurity)

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