This article identifies a growing opinion among researchers that the fastest and most economical approach to creating practical qubits for quantum computing will be achieved by embedding the qubits in silicon. Mercator identified this as a more practical approach in “Quantum Changes Everything: Protect Your Data Now” because of the high quality of the qubits and manufacturability:
“. . . the electron spin qubits are contained in traditional silicon used today for computer chips, which suggests quantum computers may be developed that use existing silicon-based chip manufacturing processes.”
The breakthrough Mercator discussed above announced 95.5% fidelity, but this new announcement indicates Princeton research has improved on that achieving 99% fidelity, a new record.
Our data security will be at greater risk the sooner quantum computing achieves broad availability. Chip technology can make that broad availability a reality very quickly. The more broadly available quantum computing becomes, the sooner the data we are transmitting today that isn’t quantum resistant will be accessible to adversaries that intercept our data today so it can be decrypted later.
“Researchers around the world are trying to figure out which technologies—such as superconducting qubits, trapped ions or silicon spin qubits, for example—can best be employed as the basic units of quantum computing. And, equally significant, researchers are exploring which technologies will have the ability to scale up most efficiently for commercial use.
“Silicon spin qubits are gaining momentum [in the field],” said Adam Mills, a graduate student in the Department of Physics at Princeton University and the lead author of the recently published study. “It’s looking like a big year for silicon overall.”
By using a silicon device called a double quantum dot, the Princeton researchers were able to capture two electrons and force them to interact. The spin state of each electron can be used as a qubit and the interaction between the electrons can entangle these qubits. This operation is crucial for quantum computation, and the research team, led by Jason Petta, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics at Princeton, was able to perform this entangling operation at a fidelity level exceeding 99.8 percent.”
Overview by Tim Sloane, VP, Payments Innovation at Mercator Advisory Group