The development of a so-called quantum internet may have just seen a significant breakthrough, experts have declared.
Research from a team Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada published in the scientific journal Nature (opens in new tab) provides proof of principle that T centers, a specific luminescent defect in silicon, can provide a ‘photonic link’ between qubits (quantum computing’s counterpart to the binary digit or bit of classical computing).
As successfully harnessing quantum technology would benefit from communications technology that enables these qubits to link together at scale, this could be a huge step forward.
What does this all mean?
If the research is to be believed, these “T centers” have the advantage of emitting light at the same wavelength that today’s metropolitan fiber communications and telecom networking equipment utilize.
So according to Stephanie Simmons, Canada Research Chair in Silicon Quantum Technologies this means you could “build quantum processors that inherently communicate with other processors” and “when your silicon qubit can communicate by emitting photons (light) in the same band used in data centers and fiber networks, you get these same benefits for connecting the millions of qubits needed for quantum computing”.
Allowing quantum computing to use the existing communications technology already being utilized at a massive scale in the world of traditional silicon computing could be a huge step for the emerging technology.
This isn’t the only announcement in recent weeks that implies the worlds of quantum and classical computing could be shifting closer together.
Dubbed Nvidia Quantum Optimized Device Architecture, or QODA for short, Nvidia has announced a new platform it says aims to make quantum computing more accessible by creating a coherent hybrid quantum-classical programming model.
Users working on HPC and AI projects will apparently be able to use the platform to add quantum computing to existing applications, using both current quantum processors, as well as simulated future quantum machines.
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