'Flip-Flop Qubits' - Radical New Quantum Computing Design Invented
Building a quantum computer has been called the 'space race of the 21st century' - a difficult and ambitious challenge with the potential to deliver revolutionary tools for tackling otherwise impossible calculations. Engineers at Australia's University of New South Wales have developed a completely new architecture for quantum computing, based on what they're calling 'flip-flop qubits.' The breakthrough promises to make the eventual large-scale manufacture of quantum chips much cheaper and easier. The new chip design allows for a silicon quantum processor that can be scaled up without the precise placement of atoms required in other approaches. Importantly, it allows quantum bits (or 'qubits') – the basic unit of information in a quantum computer – to be placed hundreds of nanometers apart and still remain coupled. The design sidesteps a challenge that all spin-based silicon qubits were expected to face as teams begin building larger and larger arrays of qubits: the need to space them at a distance of only 10-20 nanometers, or just 50 atoms apart.