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Old September 4, 2012, 03:43 PM
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chrisk chrisk is offline
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Default A 'breakthrough' in tech we may actually see soon: quantum chips [Globe]

I get a little jaded when I see yet another latest 'breakthrough' in quantum computing, but this looks pretty cool as it uses current technologies and is compatible with current electronics:
Scientists have built a new quantum chip that will enable the creation of completely secure mobile phones and ultra-fast computers with capabilities far beyond today’s devices.


In the short term, the team are applying the technology to safe communications for mobile phones and computers, which would make online banking and internet shopping more secure. Phones could be protected against hacking attempts.

Quantum technology has long been a scientific dream. The quantum chip, made from silicon, works on light and is thousands of times smaller than the glass chips used previously. It will enable mass production of quantum technologies, leading first to secure mobile phones and eventually to ultra-fast quantum computers.

Fabricating quantum circuits in silicon has the huge advantage of compatibility with modern electronics. According to Jeremy O’Brien, physics professor at Bristol, quantum processors could be integrated with conventional microelectronic circuits within three to five years.

The new chip is made from silicon, like the microprocessors in all computers and smart phones. Unlike conventional silicon chips that work by controlling electrical current, the quantum chips manipulate particles of light, called photons, to perform calculations. A quantum computing device with 100 photons could in principle solve trillions of equations at the same time.

Because the technology uses the same silicon manufacturing techniques as conventional chips, a manufacturer can easily produce millions of quantum chips.

The new circuits are compatible with existing optical glass fibre infrastructure used in broadband communications, because they operate at the same wavelengths. “The global communications network, including the internet, is powered by fibre optics which use light to move information at high speed between countries, cities and buildings,” said Mark Thompson, deputy director of Bristol’s Centre for Quantum Photonics. “Our devices are directly compatible – in a sense they talk the same language.”

I like the looks of this TBH. Looking forward to seeing how quickly we can see this rolled out.
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