Quantum computer built using current technology


Researchers at the University of Michigan have announced what they believe is the first quantum computer chip that's both built on present-day technology and capable of significant scaling. If their optimism is borne out, this may prove to be a very significant advance in quantum computing.

Scaling, in this case, refers to both the number of ion traps that can be built into a single processor and the number of atoms (or qubits). To date, ion traps have been capable of holding only a few atoms each, with each trap being assembled by hand. Now, according to the press release, that's all changed:

"The semiconductor chip we demonstrated holds an individual atom in free space inside the chip¬ówe levitate the atom in the chip by applying certain electrical signals to the tiny nearby electrodes," Monroe said. "We directly view this single atom with specially-tuned lasers and a sensitive camera. This type of ion trap has never been demonstrated at such a small level and in an integrated chip structure."
It's not exactly an announcement of mass-market availability, but it's no small achievement. Being able to leverage current CPU manufacturing technology could drastically shorten the development time of even an experimental quantum CPU.
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