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Breakthrough in Quantum Computation: Basic Quantum Computation Achieved With Silicon For First Time

The materials required for superfast computers could be almost in place. For the first time ever, scientists have proved that two silicon transistors acting as quantum bits can execute a minute calculation. Now all that is required to make a superfast computer is to find a way to put these the building blocks together. Where regular computing works on bits, quantum computing, on the other hand, uses qubits, which can take the values 0, 1 or numerous combinations of these, instead of being trapped at either 0 or 1. This means they can exponentially contract the time it takes to crack problems, altering fields like encryption and the search for new pharmaceuticals or anything like that.

Image Credit: Mehau Kulyk/SPL

Previously qubit scheming had been completed using ultra-coldsuperconductors, which are not hard to couple together into a straightforward calculator – but never before with user-friendly silicon. In silicon, the qubits are insulated to keep them stable, which is a barrier to making two qubits interrelate with each other. Now, a group of researchers led by Andrew Dzurak of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, has accomplished that feat. Their device observe the spin of two electrons and follows commands: if the first one is spinning in a specific direction, flip the rotation of the second electron. If not, do nothing.

This is also can called as an example of a logic gate, a vital unit in a computer. Replication of that same humble logic by producing sequences of gates can enable more and more composite calculations. Dzurak’s group says it has patented a design for a chip comprising millions of such qubits.

Thomas Schenckel of the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory in California says “This is a seminal breakthrough in the world of quantum computer development – with some caveats,”. Although easier to scale up, he says“silicon-based qubits are still way behind superconducting qubits”

But that doesn’t, at all, reduce the potential of the work. Schenkel says “Nothing beats what we can do in silicon in terms of economical scaling and large-scale integration,”
 Journal Refrence: Nature

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