Quantum computers represent the ultimate future of computers and come in many flavors. All quantum computers rely on using quantum particles, but the specific particle used can vary from ions to photons. Researchers at the University of Toronto have made a very big step in bringing optical quantum computers not only to reality but to the public.
Complex optical tools are needed for optical quantum computers because pairs of photons have to be entangled. These tools are large and require specialized lab equipment such as optical tables that dampen vibrations from the environment. What the researchers created is an integrated circuit with the ability to create entangled photons. This will minimize the effect of vibrations and brings the size down to something that could be found in a home.
Another important factor of this design is its ability to connect to other components needed for an optical quantum computer. Eventually we may find all of the optical equipment needed for such a computer built into a single chip. While such an achievement is still in the future, it is considerably closer to the present than it was.