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Coming Closer to Quantum Computers with New Chip Design

Category: Science & Technology
Posted: 05:40AM

As powerful as our computers get, there are some things they will simply never be able to do because the operations involved are too complicated. For many of these problems, quantum computers may be able to provide the solutions, but we are not able to build such a computer. We are getting closer all the time though with new developments, such as a new chip architecture set to appear in the Journal of Applied Physics.

The key to quantum computers is the use of quantum bits, or qubits, which are able to represent both 0 and 1 at the same time, as opposed to electronic bits that are one or the other. There are many candidates for qubits, including ions trapped in vacuum chambers that lasers manipulate, but it is difficult to scale up the technologies involved. This is because the electrodes needed to create the trapping fields are attached to the perimeter of the chip, which has only so much room. The researchers' new solution was to switch to a ball grid array (BGA), like some computer chips use. This moves the electrodes from the perimeter to the more spacious area of the chip, significantly increasing the density of the connections.

Besides the shift to BGA, the researchers also changed the kind of capacitors commonly used from surface or edge capacitors to trench capacitors, and rewired the connections. While this is a large and valuable step forward, there is still a lot of work to be done before quantum computers can come to be.

Source: EurekAlert!

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