Quantum computers will be able to perform tasks that are difficult for even the world’s most powerful supercomputers. Quantum computing is expected to be used in the future for countless scientific challenges, from solving the inside and outside of the structure of materials to simulating quantum chemistry, to name two examples, and will also serve to optimize difficult tasks. potential implications for all areas, from finance to the pharmaceutical industry.
However, flexible and scalable hardware is needed to make quantum computing a reality. One of the challenges of building a large-scale quantum computer is that researchers need to find an efficient way to interconnect quantum information nodes, that is, smaller-scale discrete processing nodes on a computer chip. However, quantum computers are radically different from conventional computers in many ways, and thus traditional techniques for transmitting electronic information cannot be transferred directly to quantum devices. However, one requirement is certain: the information carried must be transmitted and received, whether via classical or quantum interconnection.
To this end, Bharath Kannan’s team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States has developed a quantum computing architecture that will enable extensible, fidelity communication between superconducting quantum processors.
Kannan and colleagues first demonstrated the deterministic emission of individual photons (information carriers) in a user-specified direction. His method ensures that quantum information flows in the right direction more than 96 percent of the time.
Connecting several of these modules makes it possible to create a larger network of interconnected quantum processors, regardless of their physical separation in a computer chip.
Kannan points out that quantum grids are a crucial step towards modular architectures that allow larger-scale machines to be built from smaller individual components.
In a classical computer, different major components, memory, computation, etc. performs different functions such as Electronic information that is encoded and stored in the form of bits (taking a value of zero or one) is carried between these components by interconnections, which are wires through which electrons move in a computer processor.
But quantum information is more complex. Rather than having only one of two possible values (0 or 1), quantum information can be 0 and 1 at the same time (a phenomenon known as quantum superposition). In addition, quantum information can be carried by particles of light called photons. These added complexities make quantum information fragile and cannot be easily transported using traditional protocols.
Quantum computing differs from traditional computing in many ways. For example, quantum information is stored in quantum bits. The states of the quantum bit can be sustained in photons. The drawing recreates the latter. (Image: Jorge Munnshe for NCYT of Amazings)
A quantum network connects processing nodes using photons that pass through special interconnects known as waveguides. A waveguide can be unidirectional or bidirectional by simply moving a photon left or right.
Most existing architectures use unidirectional waveguides, which are easier to implement because the direction in which the photons travel is easily determined. But since each waveguide only moves photons in one direction, the larger the quantum network, the more guides are needed, making it difficult to work at large scale. Also, unidirectional waveguides often contain additional components to enhance directivity, which causes communication errors.
If there is a waveguide that allows both left and right propagation in both directions, i.e. in the example cited, and a method of direction selection as desired, it is possible to dispense with these problematic components. . This tunable transmission is what the Kannan team has proven and is the first step towards two-way communication with much higher levels of accuracy.
Using the new architecture, multiple processing modules can be added along the length of a waveguide. A notable feature of the architectural design is that the same module can be used as both a transmitter and a receiver. And photons can be sent and received by any two modules along a shared waveguide.
Kannan and his colleagues discuss the technical details of the new quantum computing architecture in the academic journal Nature Physics under the title “Optional Directional Microwave Photon Emission Using Waveguide Quantum Electrodynamics.” (Font: NCYT by Amazings)
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