Quantum microchips connected in record-breaking world first by UK scientists

0
189
Source: Sussex Ion Quantum Technology Group

Researchers in the UK have successfully transferred data between quantum microchips for the first time.

This quantum breakthrough could revolutionise computing and help overcome a key obstacle to building a commercial quantum computer.

The milestone achieved by a team from the University of Sussex and Brighton-based quantum computer developer Universal Quantum, allows chips to be linked like a jigsaw.

It means that many more qubits, the basic calculating unit, can be joined together than is possible on a single microchip. This will make a more powerful quantum computer possible.

The project, which has been backed by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), has also broken the world record for quantum connection speed and accuracy.

The scaling of qubit numbers from the current level of around 100 qubits to nearer 1 million is central to creating a quantum processor that can make useful calculations. The significant achievement is based on a technical blueprint for creating a large-scale quantum computer, which was first published in 2017 with funding from EPSRC.

Within the blueprint was the ground-breaking concept successfully demonstrated with this research of linking quantum computing modules with electrical fields.

The UK is a leader in the global race to develop useful quantum computers, which represent a step-change in computing power.

Their development may help solve pressing challenges from drug discovery to energy efficient fertiliser production. But their impact is expected to sweep across the economy, transforming most sectors and all our lives.

Winfried Hensinger, Professor of Quantum Technologies at the University of Sussex and Chief Scientist and co-founder at Universal Quantum said:

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 accommodate.

In demonstrating that we can connect 2 quantum computing chips, a bit like a jigsaw puzzle, and, crucially, that it works so well, we unlock the potential to scale up by connecting hundreds or even thousands of quantum computing microchips.

The researchers were successful in transporting the qubits using electrical fields with a 99.999993% success rate and a connection rate of 2424 transfers per second. Both numbers are world records.

Dr Kedar Pandya, Director of Cross-Council Programmes at EPSRC, said:

This significant milestone is evidence of how EPSRC funded science is seeding the commercial future for quantum computing in the UK.

The potential for complex technologies, like quantum, to transform our lives and create economic value widely relies on visionary early-stage investment in academic research.

We deliver that crucial building block and are delighted that the University of Sussex and its spin-out company, Universal Quantum, are demonstrating the strength it supports.

Universal Quantum has been awarded €67 million from the German Aerospace Centre to build two quantum computers.

The University of Sussex spin-out was also recently named as one of the 2022 Institute of Physics award winners in the business start-up category.

Source: UK Research and Innovation.

Launched in April 2018, UKRI is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). They bring together the seven disciplinary research councils, Research England, which is responsible for supporting research and knowledge exchange at higher education institutions in England, and the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK. For more details go to: https://www.ukri.org/

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here