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Quantum leap in quest for super computer

Nicky Phillips (via SMH) | April 18, 2013
The project co-leader, Andrew Dzurak, said one of the major advantages of nucleus qubits was that information stored within them was isolated and protected from electrical disturbances that could compromise the system's accuracy

NEWS. 20 September 2012. Project leaders Andrea Morello (left) and Andrew Dzurak (right), with PhD student and lead author Jarryd Pla (centre). Credit: UNSW

Project leaders Andrea Morello (left) and Andrew Dzurak (right), with PhD student and lead author Jarryd Pla (centre). Photo: UNSW

The project co-leader, Andrew Dzurak, said one of the major advantages of nucleus qubits was that information stored within them was isolated and protected from electrical disturbances that could compromise the system's accuracy

"Our qubit has the lowest error rates for reading back information in a solid state system," said Professor Dzurak, the director of the Australian National Fabrication Facility at UNSW, where the devices were made.

The qubit was also built into a scaffold made of silicon, the dominant material used to manufacture microprocessors found in computers, tablets and mobile phones.

Artist's impression of a single phosphorus atom, placed in the vicinity of a silicon transistor.

An artist's impression of a single phosphorus atom, placed in the vicinity of a silicon transistor. Photo: Tony Melov/UNSW

We've put [the qubit] into a silicon chip so we can now look at scaling it up and manufacturing it," he said.

The team, which included UNSW Associate Professor Andrea Morello and PhD student Jarryd Pla, published their results in the journal Nature.

Quantum computers hold the promise of solving complex computational problems that were impossible for today's computers, including cracking encryption codes and modelling complex molecules and drugs. By utilising the bizarre properties of subatomic particles, they will also be able to perform certain calculations billions to trillions of times faster than conventional computers.

The qubit encodes information into the nucleus using the subatomic particle's tiny magnetic field, known as its spin, which can be oriented in different directions using electromagnetic radiation.

When the field of the nucleus points up it represents a binary code of 1, while a nucleus pointing down means a binary code of 0.

 

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