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Quantum electronics breakthrough promises advanced computing on everyday devices

25/03/2020

News stories mentioning the word “quantum” are a familiar sight in today’s media. Yet, most of these developments are just small, iterative advances and the realisation of everyday quantum computing for the masses (if it ever transpires), remains decades away.

Quantum electronics
That said, occasionally one of these articles deserves special attention, and this has just happened. Researchers at the University of Chicago claim to have discovered a way to produce quantum states in ordinary, everyday electronics.

If this is true, we could be at a major milestone in quantum computing. Previously, quantum computing technology relied on exotic materials such as superconducting metals, levitated atoms, or diamonds. Standard electronics has been considered too crude to support delicate quantum states. Now however, the research team at Chicago University have been successful in using silicon carbide to electrically control quantum states.

They claim their breakthrough has made it easier to design and build quantum electronics. Fortunately, the team also discovered that the silicon carbide quantum states emit single photons of light in a wavelength near the telecommunications band. This means their technology could not only be used on fibre-optic networks, but could also be combined with existing electronics to create new devices.

If this research opens the door to quantum computing on everyday devices it could be a game changer for defence, security and the entire world, helping us solve computationa problems previously far out of our reach.

In the words of one of the researchers: “This work brings us one step closer to the realisation of systems capable of storing and distributing quantum information across the world’s fibreoptic networks. Such quantum networks would bring about a novel class of technologies allowing for the creation of un-hackable communication channels, the teleportation of single-electron states and the realisation of a quantum internet.”

SOURCE: University of Chicago