(C4ISRNET) A research project funded by the U.S. Army has developed a new approach to manufacturing quantum computer chips, representing a significant step forward toward making quantum processors at the scale needed to deliver rapid processing capabilities to the battlefield.
Sara Gamble, a program manager in quantum information science at the Army Research Office, an element of the Army Research Laboratory at Combat Capabilities Development Command, explained, “Currently we can exert control and successfully manipulate handfuls of qubits, like very countable numbers of them. But when it comes to the millions or billions of qubits that we need for applications of actual interest, how to get to those millions or billions of qubits is a major research challenge.”
Qubits could be used for distributed sensing through networks of quantum systems on the battlefield to allow for greater situational awareness, though Gamble noted that quantum information science research is still in the early stage.
“We know that a lot of these qubit types are also excellent sensors. So for things like electric and magnetic fields, these quantum sensors can sense those fields … with a higher sensitivity than you can get out of classical sensor,” Gamble said. “And then if you network those quantum sensor systems together, that increase you can get in your signal goes up even more.