One quantum problem solved; many more to go

World-first demonstration of successfully controlled qubit coupling achieved

Researchers in Japan have developed new circuit technology touted to be the vital next step towards the realisation of a practical quantum computer.

A collaborative effort between Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (RIKEN), and electronics vendor NEC Corporation, the technology is said to be the world's first quantum bit (qubit) circuit that can control the strength of coupling between qubits.

Current electronics rely on the manipulation of binary bits between two states - on and off, or one and zero - to store information. In quantum computing, information is stored in qubits, which can exist in a much larger range of states.

While previous advances have been made in establishing qubits and quantum logic gates, the coupling of qubits so far has been difficult to control.

"It has hitherto been difficult to switch the movement of one bit and two bits in the same quantum bit, although the bit's movements in the state of one single bit and the coupling of two bits have been confirmed," explained researcher Jaw-Shen Tsai of NEC.

The new technology enables the coupling of qubits to be controlled by employing an additional qubit in between the coupled qubit pair. The additional qubit acts as a non-linear transformer that is able to turn on and off the magnetic coupling between the two coupled qubits.

Using the new scheme, researchers have successfully employed a coupled two-qubit system to carry out a multi-quantum control experiment involving the turning on and off of the coupling.

Quantum computing is expected to be a vast improvement on today's most modern supercomputers due to its potentials of performing functions exponentially faster than any classical computer.

Having been employed at NEC for the past 24 years, Tsai anticipates quantum computing to continue to have a significant role in NEC's research and development efforts.

"NEC has been supporting this project for the past 10 years," he said. "One of the main businesses of NEC's is information processing, so naturally I would think the top management would support such a revolution of information processing, and I'm not surprised that they are supporting this project."

But there is still a long way to go before quantum computing becomes a reality, Tsai said. With ongoing improvements in conventional computers and their applications, Tsai expects the development of a practical quantum computer to be more than ten years away.

Meanwhile, the researchers are making plans for more complicated quantum computation that involve more computation steps and more qubits, in order to create a more realistic system and keep abreast of competition from other laboratories in the U.S. and Europe.

"In this particular technology, we have achieved a lot in the past. But many other labs are developing fast, so competition is there and we hope we can keep producing things, like what we have just disclosed, in the future," Tsai said.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Liz Tay

LinuxWorld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Skywatcher Dobsonian 8″ Collapsible Telescope

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Whodunnit™ Duo-Scope MFL-007 Microscope Kit

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Logitech Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?