Feeds

Bristol boffins bring qubit computing a tiny step closer

Spooky action at a VERY SMALL distance

High performance access to file storage

Until now, quantum computing has suffered the same problem that vacuum tubes had in the 1950s: the hardware’s too damn big – a problem addressed by Bristol boffins who have put a reconfigurable two-qubit processor on a single chip.

Just creating and manipulating a pair of qubits usually needs a tabletop’s worth of equipment, explains Professor Jeremy O’Brien, director of Bristol’s Centre for Quantum Photonics.

The university’s 70 x 3 mm chip – still a very large feature size by electronics standards, but tiny in the world of quantum computing – achieves.

Artist impression of Bristol's quantum chip

Artist's impression of the Bristol

quantum chip. Source: Physorg.com

It can’t be regarded as a “processor”, since O’Brien also said that this chip is for conducting experiments, but it’s still a considerable advance.

The chip demonstrated by Bristol allows a variety of experiments: creating entanglement between photon pairs; manipulating photons’ states; and measuring “mixture” impacts on the photons from the outside environment.

The device comprises waveguides for the photons, and electrodes to perform quantum operations on single photons. For example, the electrodes – acting as phase shifters – can control the entangled states of two photons (as O’Brien described them, “IC qubits”), or the mixed (ie, the impact of environmental noise) state of a single photon / ICqubit.

This chip, Dr O’Brien told The Register, works in one degree of freedom – the photon’s path. This still provides very broad entangled states for experimentation: “you can think of the state as being parameterized by several continuous numbers,” O’Brian said. “We can control these parameters continuously using the phase shifters we have on-chip.”

Reconfigurability is the other key characteristic of the device, since many different experiments can be performed on one device, under software control.

The research is published in Nature Photonics

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Fancy joining Reg hack on quid-a-day challenge?
Recruiting now for charity starvation diet
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
New FEMTO-MOON sighted BIRTHING from Saturn's RING
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.