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article imageNew speed record for quantum computers

By Tim Sandle     Mar 16, 2018 in Technology
Oxford - Computer technologists have set a new speed record for the trapped-ion 'building blocks' (or logic gates) of future-generation quantum computers.
Scientists from the University of Oxford have established a new world speed record for the 'logic gates' that serve as the building blocks of quantum computing. This is another important step towards the development of quantum computers, which is the technology that is set to transform the way we process information.
With the experiment, the British researchers used a trapped-ion technique to devise the computer. With the machine, logic gates place two charged atoms, which contain information in the form of quantum bits (qubits), in a state of quantum entanglement. Entanglement means that the properties of the two atoms stay linked, even as they are separated by great distances. Logic gates, in his context, are a basic quantum circuit operating on a small number of qubits. They are the building blocks of quantum circuits, like classical logic gates are for conventional digital circuits.
With a trapped ion quantum computer, this represents one proposed approach to deevloping large-scale quantum computer.s With the concept, ions, or charged atomic particles, can be trapped in free space using electromagnetic fields. This allows qubits to be stored in stable electronic states of each ion, leading to quantum information being transferred through the collective quantized motion of the ions in a shared trap.
In the study the researchers were able to increase computing speed by a factor of 20 to 60, compared with the previous best gates. This meant achieving processing in just 1.6 microseconds, with 99.8 percent precision. By this, lead researcher Professor David Lucas explains: "We have now produced the highest fidelity and the fastest gate, reaching a point where our gates are in principle good enough for quantum computing."
The technological breakthrough has been described in the journal Nature. the research paper is called "Fast quantum logic gates with trapped-ion qubits."
In other quantum computing news, Google has recently previewed Bristlecone, its new quantum computing chip, which is the building block of a 72-qubit quantum computer. This is set out in the Digital Journal article "Does Google's 72-qubit computer mean quantum computing is coming?"
More about quantum computers, Trappedion 'building blocks', Computers, Ions
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