Scientists have found the "missing piece of the puzzle" in the development of quantum computers

The development of vaccines and medicines, artificial intelligence, transportation and logistics, the science of climate change - all these areas will take a huge step forward when the full-scale quantum computer appears.

Currently, quantum processors, which are the main components of quantum computers, are relatively small (less than 100 qubits). Although the first quantum processors played a crucial role in demonstrating the potential of quantum computing, processors with more than 1 million qubits are needed for applications in globally significant areas.

In the course of a new study, specialists from the University of South Wales (Australia) managed to come close to creating such a powerful quantum processor. According to scientists, they have found a "missing piece of the puzzle" that allows you to improve the architecture of quantum chips.

The problem with modern approaches to quantum computing using qubits is that the qubits are controlled by wires that take up space on the crystal and generate heat.

“Currently, the control of electronic spin qubits depends on the generation of microwave magnetic fields by passing current through a wire next to the qubit. This poses some real challenges if we want to scale to the millions of qubits that a quantum computer would need to solve globally significant problems such as developing new vaccines, ”said study leader Dr. Jarryd Pla.

A team of researchers led by Pla found an interesting solution to this problem and suggested not using wires, but generating a magnetic field over the entire chip.

The researchers first removed the wire near the qubits and decided to generate microwave magnetic fields throughout the system.

“That is, in fact, we could generate control fields for four million qubits. There are two key innovations here. The first is that we didn't need to use a lot of electricity to get a strong field, which means we didn't generate a lot of heat. The second innovation is that the field is uniform throughout the chip, so that all millions of qubits are subject to the same level of control, ”explained Pla.

Researchers have developed a prototype of the technology and have successfully tested it on qubits.

“We were extremely happy when the experiment was successful. The problem of controlling millions of qubits has worried me for a very long time, as it was the main obstacle on the way to creating a full-scale quantum computer, ”said professor at the University of South Wales Andrew Dzurak.

Now that this obstacle has been removed, the next step should be to use a new approach to create a simpler silicon quantum processor. This will make it easier to manufacture devices with a large number of qubits in the future, the researchers said.

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