Quantum Computing at Room Temperature

Silicon parts produce qubits that survive for 39 minutes at room temperature.

qubit, quantum computer, quantum, binary, computerResearchers have made a fundamental breakthrough in quantum computing by creating a machine that can operate at room temperature.

In a paper published in the November 15 issue of the journal Science, an international research team has detailed how they designed a quantum computer that maintained superposition for 39 minutes at 25 degrees C.

Superposition, the attribute that separates quantum computers from classical computers, allows quantum bits, also known as qubits, to exist as both a 1 and 0 simultaneously. By leveraging the laws of quantum mechanics, quantum computers can harness vastly greater computing power than a classical machine.

According to Stephanie Simmons, an Oxford University scientist and author of the paper, “[The] lifetimes [of our qubits] are at least ten times longer than those measured in previous experiments,’ Simmons continued, ‘We’ve managed to identify a system that seems to have basically no noise. They’re high-performance qubits.’

While most of the excitement surrounding this breakthrough has concerned the computer’s ability to operate well above absolute zero, another important aspect of the discovery was related to its materials.

To create their quantum computer researchers used a silicon base; suggesting that quantum computers could be produced more easily through the use of relatively common materials.  Additionally, since most semiconductor manufacturing techniques are based on silicon designs, these already commonplace methods could be used to build quantum computers.

While researchers still have a long way to go before they create large, long-living quantum computers, this recent breakthrough could spur increased investment in the technology’s development.

Image and Video Courtesy of Stef Simmons, Wikipedia & Veritasi