Engineers at the University of New South Wales have announced a new architecture for quantum computing. Suggesting potential economy and scalability not yet achieved in alternative approaches, they have caught global attention, delightfully dubbing their development the “flip-flop” qubit.
Their silicon chip uses “spin” qubits, defined with both the electron and nucleus of a phosphorous atom, crucially offering wider qubit spacing than previously possible, up to 500 nanometers, which allows simpler interspersing of components.
“It’s easier to fabricate than atomic- scale devices, but still allows us to place a million qubits on a square millimeter. It’s a brilliant design, and like many such conceptual leaps, it’s amazing no one had thought of it before,” said Professor Andrea Morello.
While the research is currently theoretical, millions of dollars of investment in the breakthrough underline the “space race of the 21st century” to build an operational quantum computer.