Researchers find the missing photonic link to develop an all-silicon quantum internet

Researchers at Canada’s Simon Fraser University have observed more than 150,000 T-center silicon photon-spin qubits, a major milestone that opens up immediate opportunities to build massively scalable quantum computers, as well as a quantum internet that will connect them. , according to a study published on Wednesday (07.13.2022) by the journal Nature.

Quantum computing has enormous potential to provide computing power far beyond current supercomputers, which would enable advances in many other fields, such as chemistry, materials science, medicine and cybersecurity.

For this to become a reality, it is necessary to produce both stable, long-lived qubits that provide processing power, and the communications technology that allows these qubits to connect to each other at scale.

Previous research has indicated that silicon can produce some of the most stable and durable qubits in the industry. Now the new report provides proof that T-centers, a luminescent defect specific to silicon, can provide a “photon bond” between qubits.

“This work is the first measurement of individual T-centers in isolation, and indeed the first measurement of any individual spin in silicon to be done with optical measurements alone,” said one of the authors Stephanie Simmons, Research Chair of Canada in Silicon Quantum Technologies.

“An emitter like the T-center, which combines high-performance spin qubits and optical photon generation, is ideal for making distributed, scalable quantum computers because they can handle processing and communications together, rather than having to interconnect two quantum technologies.” different”, added the expert.

In addition, T-hubs have the advantage of emitting light at the same wavelength used by current metro fiber communications equipment and telecommunications networks: “With T-hubs, quantum processors can be built that intrinsically communicate with other processors. “When the silicon qubit communicates by emitting photons (light) in the same band that is used in data centers and fiber networks, these same advantages are gained in connecting the millions of qubits needed for quantum computing,” he explained. Simmons.

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The development of quantum technology with silicon offers the possibility of rapidly scaling up quantum computing. The global semiconductor industry is already capable of manufacturing silicon computer chips at scale at low cost and with an astonishing degree of precision. This technology forms the backbone of modern computing and networking, from smartphones to the world’s most powerful supercomputers.

“If a way is found to create quantum computing processors in silicon, you can take advantage of all the years of development, knowledge and infrastructure used to make conventional computers, instead of creating a whole new industry for quantum manufacturing. This represents an advantage almost insurmountable competitive position in the international race for the quantum computer”, stated the researcher.

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