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Silicon qubits are ready for scale-up

Paul van Gerven
Leestijd: 4 minuten

Silicon-based quantum computers could piggyback on decades of miniaturization and manufacturing experience in the semiconductor industry, but the technology has struggled with high error rates. Now, researchers at Qutech have demonstrated silicon qubits that operate above the long-standing goal of more than 99 percent fidelity.

In the fall of 2019, Google researchers claimed the world’s first demonstration of quantum supremacy. Their 53-qubit Sycamore quantum computer based on superconducting electronic circuits took 200 seconds to perform a calculation that the researchers estimated would take a top-of-the-line supercomputer 10,000 days to complete.

The claim has been challenged by IBM, but even if it holds up, there may be trouble down the line. Since superconducting qubits are relatively large, the technology may not be ideal for scaling to the number of qubits required to build a quantum computer of practical value. According to most estimates, such a machine will need hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of qubits onboard.

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