Aussie researchers take major step toward quantum computing

UNSW researchers create a transistor using quantum dots
  • (PC World (US online))
  • — 27 May, 2010 08:37

Researchers at the University of New South Wales in Australia have created a transistor using quantum dots, 10 times smaller than traditional transistors used in today's computer chips, according to IEEE Spectrum. The quantum dots, when working together in large groups, may allow for quantum computing. Similar studies have been done with few quantum dots in laboratories, with technology that takes up an entire room, but that technology was limited and was only able to connect a limited number of quantum dots--that is, until now.

A quantum dot is a basically a tiny pool of electrons inside of a semiconducting material. Each dot has what is called a "spin," which can be either up or down, or even both. This mechanical property called the spin can be translated into information, called quantum information, or qubits.

One YouTube video shows what thousands of quantum dots--excited by a laser--look like.

Since individual quantum dots can be in two states at once, computers can make many calculations at once, thus making the sought-after quantum computer. In fact, the dots don't even need to be next to each other; they can be at a distance, similar to the electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT) effect where a laser can be made to do the same thing as the other at a distant.

The researchers were able to use traditional chip-making technology to suspend the transistors--that is, they were placed within a silicon crystal. Seven atoms in the crystal were replaced with phosphorus atoms to create the quantum dot transistor.

In the past, quantum dots were typically made by suspending atoms in chemical solutions or in magnetic fields, but the problem is that chemical solutions and magnetic fields would simply be too large and/or incompatible with current technology. So they found a way to create the quantum dot inside of a silicon crystal.

Scientists are working on developing single-atom transistors, which are many times smaller than current technology. This means that computer chips will not only be many times faster but will be capable of having much more crammed into them.

While there are still many steps to be taken toward quantum computing such as making hundreds, thousands, and millions of the quantum dots work together, this is still one more step towards a faster tomorrow.

Via IEEE Spectrum

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

James Mulroy

PC World (US online)
Topics: unsw, quantum computing
Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Compare & Save

Deals powered by WhistleOut
Use WhistleOut's technology to compare:
Mobile phone plans & deals
Mobile phone models
Mobile phone carriers
Broadband plans & deals
Broadband providers
Deals powered by WhistleOut
WhistleOut

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?