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They find a defect in silicon that could be crucial in the development of computing and quantum internet


Current supercomputers have limited development capabilities, because as the size of microchips is reduced, to achieve higher processing speed , they stop working properly.

Scientists at Simon Fraser University in Canada have managed to observe more than 150,000 qubits (quantum bit) of photon-generating ‘T-centers’ in silicon structures. The discovery of this specific luminescent defect in the crystals of this chemical element can ensure the photonic bond between qubits. In this way, opportunities would open up to mass-produce quantum computers at any scale, as reported by the team in a statement released this Wednesday.

“This work is the first measurement of isolated single ‘T-centers’ and, in fact, it is the first measurement of any single spin in silicon to be done with optical measurements alone,” announced Stephanie Simmons, Co-Director of the Lab. of Silicon Quantum Technology at Simon Fraser University and head of the research team published in Nature.

Current supercomputers based on microprocessors (and bit-encoded information) have limited development capabilities. The problem is that, as the size of the microchips is reduced, to achieve higher processing speed, there is a miniaturization limit after which they stop working correctly. Quantum computing has enormous potential to provide much greater computing power than today, because it operates at subatomic levels. In this way, many areas of science, technology and society would be greatly benefited.

But before the potential of quantum computers can be exploited, networks need to solve several scientific problems. One of them is the ability to quantum entangle these stable and durable qubits and link them at scale. The importance of these researchers’ discovery lies precisely in the fact that the ‘T centers’ can act as photonic bonds between the qubits.

Simmons posits that a ‘T center’, photon generator optics, is ideal for “making distributed, scalable quantum computers because they can handle processing and communications together, rather than having to interconnect two different quantum technologies. One for processing, and one for communications.”

By emitting light at the same wavelength used by current fiber optic telecommunications network equipment, the foundations would already be created to connect the millions of cubits necessary so that the deployment of quantum internet technology is easier The development of quantum technology with silicon turns out to have another advantage, as the global semiconductor industry has years of experience in manufacturing equipment and economical and precise, offering more opportunities to develop this technology.

“By finding a way to create quantum computing processors on silicon, you can take advantage of all the years of development, knowledge and infrastructure used to make conventional computers, rather than creating an entirely new industry for quantum manufacturing.” “This represents an almost insurmountable competitive advantage in the international race for a quantum computer,” concludes Simmons.


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