Even as COVID-19 dominates the attention of first responders, scientists, economists and technology companies, far-reaching research is moving ahead in developing quantum computing.
To that end, Intel and QuTech have recently collaborated on research showing they have successfully controlled “hot” qubits at temperatures greater than 1 kelvin. A qubit is the fundamental unit of quantum computing.
Their work is summarized in a new paper published in Nature.
Hot qubits have big implications for designing more practical quantum systems that today rely on extreme cold environments, requiring special equipment and control electronics that are out of the logistical and financial reach of most organizations.
Intel believes that a hot qubit approach can dramatically reduce the complexity required for control electronics, which in turn can open the pathway toward the design and manufacture of a quantum integrated circuit.
The Intel and QuTech work is the first time that researchers have been able to control qubits in silicon at a higher temperature above 1 kelvin. That temperature increase means qubits don’t have to work in a vacuum and can be immersed in a liquid. Previously, a quantum computer was only proven to operate at millikelvins, just a fraction above absolute zero.
In a blog, Intel Labs’ Director of Quantum Hardware, said the demonstration of hot qubits that operate at higher temperatures while maintaining high fidelity “paves the way to allow a variety of local qubit control options without impacting qubit performance.”
QuTech is an advanced research center for quantum computing founded in 2014 by Delft University of Technology and the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research.