Menu
Less is more for Canadian quantum computing researchers

Less is more for Canadian quantum computing researchers

Their two-qudit design could outperform quantum computers with six-qubit processors and, with some refinement, even 12-qubit systems

IDG

IDG

Researchers in Canada have found a way make a key building block for quantum computing from a custom photonics chip and off-the-shelf components intended for use in telecommunications equipment.

They have built a chip that can create entangled pairs of multicolored photons. The result is that they can be manipulated as two "qudits," quantum computing digits, that can each hold 10 possible values.

Where classical computers operate on values in sequence, quantum computers are able to express all possible values of a variable simultaneously, collapsing to the "right" answer at the end of the calculation. Not all computing problems benefit from this treatment, but it is particularly useful in the factorization of large numbers, necessary for cracking many forms of encryption.

The storage elements quantum computers are made from are inherently unstable, and must be linked in a process known as entanglement in order to work together. The more of them there are, the harder it is to keep them all entangled and functioning for long enough to perform a calculation.

The simplest quantum element is the two-dimensional qubit, a quantum bit, which can simultaneously hold two values (0 and 1). With six qubits, a quantum computer could hold any or all of 64 (2 to the power 6) possible values.

But that requires maintaining the quantum state of six elements.

In July 2016, Russian scientists suggested that, instead of building quantum computers with qubits, it would be easier to maintain a smaller number of qudits, each able to hold a greater range of values. They showed how to make a five-dimensional qudit, which would have greater computing power than a quantum computer with two qubits.

Now the Canadian researchers have demonstrated that their photonic chip can entangle two 10-dimensional qudits, storing a greater range of values than a six-qubit quantum computer, but requiring the stabilization of only two elements.

Using the same chip, they say, it should be possible to generate two entangled qudits able to hold 9,000 or more values -- the equivalent of a 12-qubit computer.

By way of comparison, IBM hitched up a 16-qubit computer to its computing cloud back in May, inviting scientists to share time on it to test quantum computing algorithims.

Google, meanwhile, hopes to have an operational 49-qubit quantum computer by the end of the year.

It's not enough merely to generate these qudits: To turn them into a quantum computer it must also be possible to manipulate them.

That can be accomplished using standard telecommunications components such as modulators and filters, according to the researchers, making the system relatively accessible.

Being able to generate multidimensional quantum computing systems in this way will open the door to faster and more robust quantum communication protocols, and more efficient and error-tolerant quantum computation, the researchers said in a paper detailing their research in the journal Nature in June.


Follow Us

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.

Events

Featured

Slideshows

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

This year’s Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards were held as an integral part of the first entirely virtual Emerging Leaders​ forum, an annual event dedicated to identifying, educating and showcasing the New Zealand technology market’s rising stars. The 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 recognised the outstanding achievements and business excellence of 30 talented individuals​, across both young leaders and those just starting out. In this slideshow, Reseller News honours this year's winners and captures their thoughts about how their ideas of leadership have changed over time.​

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners
Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

This exclusive Reseller News Exchange event in Auckland explored the challenges facing the partner community on the cloud security frontier, as well as market trends, customer priorities and how the channel can capitalise on the opportunities available. In association with Arrow, Bitdefender, Exclusive Networks, Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security
Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomed 2019 inductees - Leanne Buer, Ross Jenkins and Terry Dunn - to the fourth running of the Reseller News Hall of Fame lunch, held at the French Cafe in Auckland. The inductees discussed the changing face of the IT channel ecosystem in New Zealand and what it means to be a Reseller News Hall of Fame inductee. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch
Show Comments