(SemiEngineering) One of the biggest challenges for quantum computers is error correction, which protects calculations from degradation due to noise. The most promising approach to quantum error correction requires multiple copies of the data, with hundreds or even thousands of physical qubits for each logical qubit. Semiconductor manufacturing is perhaps the only mature technology that can produce millions of nearly identical nanometer-scale structures that will be needed by quantum computers. So even though electron spin-based silicon qubits are relative newcomers — they were first demonstrated in 2012 — silicon appears prominently in lists of candidate quantum computing technologies.
Ravi Pillarisetty, senior device engineer in Intel’s Components Research group, recently made a forceful argument for the superior scalability of silicon qubits. For scalability, Pillarisetty said, silicon qubits need to be made with 28Si, and they need to be fabricated on 300-mm wafers with factory-grade equipment.
The article concludes with this caution: In the late 1950s, the first integrated circuit designs were just starting to emerge. It wasn’t yet clear whether silicon or germanium was a better device material. That’s about where quantum computers are today. Manufacturable qubit integration schemes are just starting to emerge.