Scientists from Bristol University have developed a silicon chip, which will be the cornerstone of the mass production of miniature quantum chips.
The transition from glass to silicon circuits is a significant breakthrough, as the quantum of silicon chips are compatible with modern microelectronics. Eventually, it will integrate quantum microelectronic technology with conventional schemes.
Unlike conventional silicon chips, the principle of which is based on the control of electric current, the quantum circuits manipulate single particles of light (photons) for the purpose of computing the product. These schemes involve the strange quantum mechanical effects such as superposition (the ability of a particle is in two places at once) and entanglement (strong correlation between the state of a particle). For the production of these technologies can be applied pre-existing technique of creating a conventional microelectronics. These new schemes are compatible with existing fiber infrastructure, and may be integrated in the internet.
Mark Thompson, who is deputy director of the Center for Quantum Photonics, said: "Using silicon for the manipulation of light, we have developed a scheme, the size of which is 1000 times smaller than modern glass schemes. In the future it will be possible mass production of chips using conventional techniques. Much more small dimensions make it possible to integrate them into devices that have not been compatible with glass chips. "
"In fact, this is the beginning of a new field of quantum technologies that will make possible the creation of quantum computers and solutions of a complex scientific problems."
Bristol research team believes that to date have been developed all the key components required to create a functioning quantum processor. This powerful type of computer uses quantum bits (qubits) instead of the usual bits of modern computers. Quantum computers will feature an unprecedented computing power in areas such as search engines and the development of new materials and medicines.