Sydney team develops microcircuit based on Nobel Prize research
Invention of the microwave circulator is part of a revolution in device engineering needed to build a large-scale quantum computer.
A team at the University of Sydney and Microsoft, in collaboration with Stanford University in the US, has miniaturised a component that is essential for the scale-up of quantum computing. The work constitutes the first practical application of a new phase of matter, first discovered in 2006, the so-called topological insulators.
Beyond the familiar phases of matter – solid, liquid, or gas – topological insulators are materials that operate as insulators in the bulk of their structures but have surfaces that act as conductors. Manipulation of these materials provide a pathway to construct the circuitry needed for the interaction between quantum and classical systems, vital for building a practical quantum computer.
Theoretical work underpinning the discovery of this new phase of matter was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics.
The Sydney team’s component, coined a microwave circulator, acts like a traffic roundabout, ensuring that electrical signals only propagate in one direction, clockwise or anti-clockwise, as required. Similar devices are found in mobile phone base-stations and radar systems, and will be required in large quantities in the construction of quantum computers. A major limitation, until now, is that typical circulators are bulky objects the size of your hand.
This invention, reported by the Sydney team today in the journal Nature Communications, represents the miniaturisation of the common circulator device by a factor of 1000. This has been done by exploiting the properties of topological insulators to slow the speed of light in the material. This minaturisation paves the way for many circulators to be integrated on a chip and manufactured in the large quantities that will be needed to build quantum computers.
The leader of the Sydney team, Professor David Reilly, explained that the work to scale-up quantum computing is driving breakthroughs in related areas of electronics and nanoscience.
“It is not just about qubits, the fundamental building blocks for quantum machines. Building a large-scale quantum computer will also need a revolution in classical computing and device engineering,” Professor Reilly said.
“Even if we had millions of qubits today, it is not clear that we have the classical technology to control them. Realising a scaled-up quantum computer will require the invention of new devices and techniques at the quantum-classical interface.”
Lead author of the paper and PhD candidate Alice Mahoney said: “Such compact circulators could be implemented in a variety of quantum hardware platforms, irrespective of the particular quantum system used.”
A practical quantum computer is still some years away. Scientists expect to be able to carry out currently unsolveable computations with quantum computers that will have applications in fields such as chemistry and drug design, climate and economic modelling, and cryptography.
The Latest on: Large-scale quantum computer
- Eli Dart On Science DMZs, COVID-19, And The Future Of Computing Infrastructureon May 7, 2020 at 5:00 pm
One was my work as one of the network engineers for NERSC, which is the Department of Energy’s flagship high performance computing facility. I worked there from 2001 to 2005 ... And as part of my ...
- Ultra-low power computing in spacecraft to IoT nodeson May 7, 2020 at 5:04 am
Finally, transistors also cannot provide the zero standby power that will enable autonomous nodes in the Internet of Things that work on scavenged energy. The ZeroAMP project is developing ultra-low ...
- Quantum Computer of the Future: A Novel 2D Build With Existing Technologyon April 29, 2020 at 1:03 pm
The basic units of a quantum computer can be rearranged in 2D to solve typical design and operation challenges. Quantum computing is increasingly becoming the focus of scientists in fields such as ...
- The Auspicious History — and Future — of Basic Science Researchon April 29, 2020 at 3:30 am
We should make more long-term investments in undirected research in basic science. NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE W ith every crisis, whether a pandemic or manmade or natural disaster, politicians and pundits ...
- Quantum computing: the next tech frontier for trade finance?on April 28, 2020 at 7:50 am
The archaic, paper-based world of trade finance looks set to take a further leap into the digital future, as trade finance distribution platform Tradeteq begins a collaboration with the Singapore ...
- Twelve Princeton faculty elected to American Academy of Arts and Scienceson April 27, 2020 at 10:08 pm
Princeton faculty members Rubén Gallo, M. Zahid Hasan, Amaney Jamal, Ruby Lee, Margaret Martonosi, Tom Muir, Eve Ostriker, Alexander Smits, Leeat Yariv, James Stone and Muhammad Qasim Zaman have ...
- Wiring the quantum computer of the future: A novel simple build with existing technologyon April 23, 2020 at 7:01 am
Efficient quantum computing is expected to enable advancements that are impossible with classical computers. Scientists from Japan and Sydney have collaborated and proposed a novel two-dimensional ...
- The Largest Roadblock In Quantum Computing Has Been Passed [Infographic]on April 20, 2020 at 4:02 am
Quantum computers are thought to be the next big step in computing technology. Recently, a major breakthrough has been made that could bring quantum computing within reach.
- Speeding-up quantum computing using giant atomic ionson April 15, 2020 at 11:35 am
Among the different physical systems that can be used to make a quantum computer, trapped ions have led the field for years. The main obstacle towards a large-scale trapped ion quantum computer is ...
via Google News and Bing News