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The prospect of a super-fast quantum computer took one step closer to fruition this week. Two research teams in Australia have created the first silicon quantum technology, and it can hold data with over 99% accuracy.

The two teams worked at the same laboratory at UNSW (University of South Wales) Australia. Each team found a unique solution to creating silicon quantum technology.

The pair of teams created two different types of quantum bits, or ‘qubits.’ These ‘qubits’ are the basic building blocks for quantum computers. Each ‘qubit’ was able to process quantum data with an accuracy above 99%. Not too shabby.

“For quantum computing to become a reality we need to operate the bits with very low error rates,” said Professor Andrew Dzurak, Director of the Australian National Fabrication Facility at UNSW, in a statement.

Dzurak’s team created an ‘artificial atom’ qubit and is similar to the silicon transistors found in today’s consumer electronics. Researcher Menno Veldhorst, who was lead author on the paper, says, “It is really amazing that we can make such an accurate qubit using pretty much the same devices as we have in our laptops and phones.”

Dzurak explains “even though methods to correct errors do exist, their effectiveness is only guaranteed if the errors occur less than 1% of the time. Our experiments are among the first in solid-state, and the first-ever in silicon, to fulfill this requirement.”

The other team, led by Dr Juha Muhonen, looked at a ‘natural’ qubit. Specifically, the phosphorus atom qubit.

“The phosphorus atom contains in fact two qubits: the electron, and the nucleus. With the nucleus in particular, we have achieved accuracy close to 99.99%. That means only one error for every 10,000 quantum operations,” says Muhonen.

UNSW put together a great video explaining the new work in quantum technology. Check it out below.


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