French Researchers Confident They Will Reach Key Milestones in Quest to Build Silicon-Based Quantum Computers
(IlinoisNewsToday) Quantum computers are of great interest not only to laboratories, but also to IT giants, start-ups and governments. In January 2021, French President Emmanuel Macron announced a € 1.8 billion quantum program initiative to support the research and development of quantum technology.
Researchers at the French Agency for Natural Resources and Energy (CEA) in Grenoble are confident that they will reach a key milestone later this year in their quest to build quantum computers.
CEA’s Maud Vinet and Silvano De Franceschi, along with CNRS’s Tristan Meunier, are leading a team of scientists to build silicon-based quantum machines. The first step is to operate a 2-cubit network in the coming months.
Over 50 people with expertise in diverse disciplines such as micro and nanoelectronics, integrated circuits, quantum engineering, and quantum physics are part of this project, which began in 2016 with the creation of basic silicon qubits.
There are four main approaches to making qubits: photons, trapped ions, superconductors, and semiconductors like silicon.
Vinet and DeFranceschi have taken the final approach of using the magnetic moments of the electrons in silicon to create two different states of the qubit. They chose silicon, although it appears to lag behind other silicon in terms of the number of qubits that interact in the network.
“The other three approaches seem to have gone a step further, but we’re sticking to silicon because building a viable quantum computer isn’t a short-term competition. Today’s position doesn’t matter. More importantly, the future. “
According to Vinet, scalability will be key to building a practical quantum computer. “In this respect, there is no better candidate than silicon, the center of the semiconductor industry. Silicon can be used to produce millions or billions of cubics that can be assembled in a relatively compact system. It is also convenient for equipment. “
In addition, according to De Franceschi, when it comes to performance, silicon qubits are on par with other platforms in terms of fidelity and operating speed. Defrancheski argues that while some of the other approaches may be appropriate, they may not be equally appropriate for effective, large-scale, and easy manufacturing.
“After the processor grows in size, we need to consider how much we can scale up to handle qubit control. Others, such as possible interference when manipulating qubits. There are problems. A successful approach is the best approach for everything,” he says.
CEA researchers have their own advantages because both the because both the physics and engineering requirements needed to build a quantum computer are available under the same roof.