Quantum computing: Japan takes step toward light-based technology
(AsiaNikkei) A Japanese team of scientists have announced a key step in the development of a quantum computer using photons, or particles of light, that eliminates the need for an ultracold environment used to cool existing machines.
The team including Nippon Telegraph and Telephone, the University of Tokyo and Japan’s Riken research institute has developed a high-performance source of “squeezed light” used to transmit information in optical quantum computing.
The goal is to develop a powerful quantum computer using this technology by 2030.
The public-private-academia effort marks a significant stride for Japan in an area that is expected to be vital for competition in a wide range of industries in the coming years. The government provided funding for the project as part of a 200 billion yen ($1.76 billion) initiative.
The research team sees the potential for vastly improved performance over competing technologies. “It’s a paradigm shift,” said project manager Akira Furusawa, professor at the University of Tokyo School of Engineering.
Optical computers can run at room temperature, without the expensive cooling equipment needed for other quantum computers that use superconductors.
NTT, which offers fiber-optic internet service in Japan and has continued to research optical technology, leveraged its experience and expertise in the field for this project.