Researchers from the University of Sussex and Universal Quantum have shown for the first time that quantum bits (qubits) can be transferred directly across quantum computer microchips with record-breaking speed and accuracy. This solution solves a significant hurdle in the development of quantum computers large and robust enough to tackle complicated problems of crucial societal concern.
The researchers, led by Dr. Mariam Akhtar, Research Fellow at the University of Sussex and Quantum Advisor at Universal Quantum, together with Ph.D. student Falk Bonus and Postdoctoral Fellow Foni Raphael Le Brun-Ricalens has demonstrated a quantum matter link in which ion qubits are transmitted between adjacent QC modules in the paper.
Platforms based on trapped atomic ions provide an excellent foundation for developing QCs and quantum simulators. When compared to alternative physical implementations, encoding qubits in the internal electronic states of trapped ions provides the highest quantum gate fidelities and the longest coherence periods.
Understanding the quantum matter link
The scientists demonstrate how they used a new and powerful technique, dubbed ‘UQConnect,’ to use electric field links to enable qubits to move from one quantum computing microchip module to another with unprecedented speed and precision in the research paper, published last 8 February 2023 in Nature Communications. This enables chips to be slotted together like jigsaw puzzle pieces to create a more powerful quantum computer.
Furthermore, they demonstrated that the link has no discernible effect on the qubit’s phase coherence. The quantum matter link provides a feasible way to connect quantum charge-coupled devices (QCCD). Their research will aid in developing modular QCs capable of fault-tolerant utility-scale quantum computation.
The University of Sussex and Universal Quantum team transported the qubits with a success rate of 99.999993% and a connection rate of 2424/s, both of which are world records and orders of magnitude better than previous solutions.
The scientists also confirmed that the ‘strange’ quantum character of the qubit remained unaltered during transit. For example, while linking the modules at world-record speed, the qubit can be both 0 and 1 simultaneously.
Universal Quantum has received a €67 million contract from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) to create two quantum computers that will use this technology. The University of Sussex spin-off was also designated a 2022 Institute of Physics award winner in the Business Start-up category.
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