(TheConversation) A team of researchers from the UK and France have demonstrated that it may well be possible to build a quantum computer from conventional silicon-based electronic components. This could pave the way for large-scale manufacturing of quantum computers much sooner than might otherwise be possible.
There are two main reasons why making a quantum computer out of silicon has an aura of great interest around it:
–The Moore’s Law-led relentless miniaturisation of silicon devices has enabled the manufacturing of transistors that are only a few tens of atoms wide. This is the scale at which the laws of quantum physics start to apply.
–By reusing the same technology that the microchip industry has handled for the past 60 years, we could also take advantage of previous multi-billion-dollar infrastructural investments and reduce costs.
These experiments were recently carried out by collaborating teams at Cambridge University, Hitachi R&D, University College London and CEA-LETI in France. The results suggest this marriage between conventional and quantum electronics can be indeed celebrated. We took engineering solutions from conventional silicon circuits and applied them to interconnect different quantum devices on a chip.