In a world first, scientists from the University of Sussex and Universal Quantum, a university spin-off, have shown that quantum bits (qubits) can be transmitted directly between quantum computer microchips.
This breakthrough aims to overcome a major obstacle in building quantum computers large and powerful enough to address the crucial societal challenges they are designed to address: from developing medicines to creating new materials and solutions to climate change.
Experts estimate that solving these problems will require millions of qubits – a number currently unattainable given that existing quantum computers operate at 100-qubit scale.
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“As quantum computers grow, we will eventually be constrained by the size of the microchip, which limits the number of quantum bits such a chip can hold,” Winfried Hensinger, professor of quantum technologies at the University of Sussex and chief scientist and co-founder of Universal Quantum explained.
As a solution, the research team developed a new technology called “UQ Connect”. This method allowed researchers to use electric field connections that allow qubits to move from one quantum computer microchip module to another with record-breaking speed and accuracy. Specifically, the researchers were successful Transported 2,424 ion qubits per second with a 99.999993% success rate.
“We knew that a modular approach is key to making quantum computing powerful enough to solve breakthrough industrial problems. By showing that we can connect two quantum computer chips – a bit like a puzzle – and most importantly that it works so well, we unlock the potential for scaling by connecting hundreds or even thousands of quantum computer microchips,” added Hensinger added.
Universal Quantum, recently named one of the Institute of Physics 2022 winners in the Business Startup category, has now received 67 million euros from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) to build two quantum computers that use the new technology will use.
“The DLR contract was probably one of the largest government quantum computing contracts ever awarded to a single company. This is a tremendous endorsement of our technology. Universal Quantum is now working hard to implement this technology in our upcoming commercial machines,” said Dr. Sebastian Weidt, CEO and Co-Founder of Universal Quantum and Senior Lecturer in Quantum Technologies at the University of Sussex.
The full study can be found here.