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Quantum Computing: Scientists Design Two-Qubit Logic Gate for Quantum Computers

First Posted: Oct 07, 2015 08:14 AM EDT
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Researchers may have overcome a crucial hurdle in quantum computing. They've demonstrated a two-qubit logic gate, which is the central building block of a quantum computer.

Quantum computers have the potential to drastically speed up calculations and computing. However, actually creating one has been a challenge. Quantum computing actually relies on quantum physics, which means that researchers have to use the properties of quantum physics in order to create a computer.

In classical computers, data is rendered as binary bits, which are always in one of two states: 0 or 1. A quantum bit, or qubit, though, can exist in both of these states at once, which is a condition known as superposition. A qubit operation exploits this quantum property by allowing many computations to be performed in parallel.

Until now, it hasn't been possible to make two qubits "talk" to each other, and thereby create a logic gate, using silicon. Now, though, researchers have managed the feat for the very first time.

"What we have is a game changer," said Andrew Dzurak, team leader in the new study, in a news release. "We've demonstrated a two-qubit logic gate-the central building block of a quantum computer-and significantly, done it in silicon. Because we use essentially the same device technology as existing computer chips, we believe it will be much easier to manufacture a full-scale processor chip than for any of the leading designs, which rely on more exotic technologies."

The findings could be huge for the future of quantum computing. In fact, the team has already patented a design for a full-scale quantum chip. The next step is to identify the right industry partners to work with to manufacture this full-scale quantum processor chip.

The findings are published in the journal Nature.

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