New Quantum Computer Design Based on Diamonds
Many across the world are looking forward to quantum computers, which will have the ability to run problems too complex for traditional, electronic computers. Actually building a quantum computer is a very difficult task though, and so many designs have been proposed that rely on different systems. Researchers at the Vienna University of Technology, National Institute of Informatics, and NTT Basic Research Labs have recently developed a new design that is based on diamonds and has some very valuable advantages over other designs.
At the center of quantum computers are qubits, which are analogous to electronic bits but instead of being zero or one, qubits can be both zero and one thanks to superposition. Qubits can take many forms though, including ions inside of traps, superconductors, and defects in diamond. More specifically, the diamond defects are nitrogen atoms, and these defects are kept in between two mirrors, forming an optical resonator. An optical fiber is then used to deliver a photon coupled to the system, to read and write quantum information to the nitrogen atom. The researchers have come to the conclusion that this system and the architecture they have designed is best suited for quantum computers because it lends itself well to miniaturization, mass production, and integration onto chips.
One of the algorithms that may one day be run by quantum computers is Shor-2048, which is for finding the prime factorization of 2048 bit numbers. To run it though would require a quantum computer, with error correction, to have 4.5 billion quantum systems in it. The ability to miniaturize qubits would be invaluable for one day running that algorithm, which is exactly where the diamond-based architecture may succeed.
Source: Vienna University of Technology