A record-breaking milestone in quantum computing has been reached, which could mean that unimaginably fast computing is now a realistic prospect.
Researchers at Sussex University have managed to transfer data between chips at record speed and, more importantly, with record accuracy.
“Here we have achieved the ability to create extremely powerful quantum computers capable of solving some of the most important problems for industry and society,” said lead researcher Prof. Winfried Hensinger.
Speed and accuracy
Quantum computing is based on several principles of the quantum psyche, namely that subatomic particles can be in two places at once and can reflect their actions almost simultaneously over unfathomable distances.
These properties mean that computers can potentially run multiple processes at speeds not possible with even the best modern computers. They have been in development for over two decades, but so far only small systems with limited use are in operation. Big tech companies like IBM, Google, and Microsoft have several machines of their own.
One of the main obstacles to the development of this technology was the ability to transfer information between integrated circuits to keep them intact. For quantum computers to work, they are inherently very sensitive and therefore have a low fault tolerance. This means that the slightest interference can disrupt their effective work.
But publishing the results in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Communications, The research team from Sussex University (opens in a new tab) demonstrated a way to transfer information between quantum chips with a reliability of 99.999993%, the connection speed was 2424/s.
The researchers say both set world records and show that it is possible to match quantum chips to build more powerful quantum computers.
Director of the National Center for Quantum Computing, prof. Michael Cuthbert, commented on the results:
“To build the type of quantum computer you need in the future, you start by stringing together chips the size of a thumbnail until you have something the size of a dinner plate. The Sussex group has shown you can have stability and speed for this step.”
However, he added: “You need a mechanism to connect these dinner plates to scale a machine, potentially as large as a football field, to make realistic and useful calculations, and communication technology on this scale is not yet available.”
If quantum computing becomes practical, it could mean great things for all industries. This can lead to new discoveries in science as they can perform calculations that no human or current computer can do.
Significant improvements in artificial intelligence are also possible with quantum computers. Currently, it can take months to train an AI model to become effective. Not having to rely on the linear binary system of standard computers where information is processed as either 1 or 0, quantum computers can store two states of information simultaneously, making them run much faster.
In fact, IBM has already revealed the mathematical proof (opens in a new tab) that quantum machine learning is exponentially faster than standard ML methods as long as “you can provide the algorithm with classical data in the form of quantum states.” While it remains theoretical at this point, if it can be applied, the future of artificial intelligence and quantum computing looks promising.