UNSW and Sydney Uni join quantum powers to prove out qubit theory

Under the 'Quantum Harbour City' partnership, the researchers have used each other's developments to prove they can read quantum bits of information without the need for sensors.

UNSW and Sydney Uni join quantum powers to prove out qubit theory Under the 'Quantum Harbour City' partnership, the researchers have used each other's developments to prove they can read quantum bits of information without the need for sensors.

The University of New South Wales (UNSW) and University of Sydney (USyd) have announced combining their quantum computing powers, bringing together methods designed by each university to prove out their feasibility.

The researchers involved have demonstrated that the state, or value, of a quantum bit (qubit) in silicon can be read out in a way that removes the need to have readout sensors alongside the qubits.

Qubits are the building blocks for quantum computers, and they need to be built in complex arrays before a functioning quantum computer can be developed.

The issue, however, lies with how best to design the systems.

"By removing the need for parallel readout sensors, the joint result allows for a computing architecture that is much simpler, meaning many more qubits can be built alongside each other," the pair of universities said in a statement.

The method, UNSW Scientia Professor Andrew Dzurak explained, uses a single-gate electrode technique to read-out information -- a method developed by USyd, led by David Reilly, in 2013 -- with the requirement for single-shot readout of qubits that can be manufactured using existing silicon chip technology. This capability was developed by UNSW in 2014.

More from UNSW: UNSW has found a way to access information stored within atoms | UNSW unlocks qubit signal frequency control in quantum advancement | UNSW unveils complete design of a silicon quantum computer chip | Flip-flop qubits: UNSW conceives 'radical' quantum computing design 

"This mix is very important for scalability," Dzurak added.

"Four research teams across the world have developed very similar read-out techniques in silicon basically at the same time, all based on David's single-gate technique."

Two of these teams are based in Australia: one in France and one in the Netherlands.

"This is a great result that shows that scientific collaboration is key to achieving a fault-tolerant, universal quantum computer," added Reilly, who is also the director of the Microsoft Quantum Laboratory.

"Such a machine will not be built in a single laboratory or a single institute. It will require cooperation on a global scale, working with some of the biggest technology companies in the world."

More from USyd: University of Sydney develops quantum trick to block background sensor 'chatter' | Microsoft and USyd claim invention of key quantum computing component | Sydney Uni predicts the unpredictable in quantum computing advancement

The partnership follows the New South Wales government last month announcing the funding of a new initiative aimed at getting more people engaged with quantum computing.

The AU$15.4 million Sydney Quantum Academy (SQA) initiative will see USyd, UNSW, Macquarie University, and University of Technology Sydney (UTS) encourage students to work with each other and train across the four universities.

The NSW government funding, combined with current university and future industry support, sees the total investment in the SQA pinned at around AU$35 million.

"One of the great things about this result is it has been put together by people coming to Sydney from across the world, attracted to the strong quantum science ecosystem we have built here," Dzurak added. 

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