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Quantum computers go silicon

While not very powerful, the machine is ‘a big symbolic step’

1:00pm, February 14, 2018
quantum computer

SILICON STEPS UP  Scientists are performing new quantum feats with silicon-based devices (background, shown in a scanning electron microscope image). In a technique that could help silicon quantum computers scale up, a particle of light (pink waves) was made to interact with the spin of a single electron (pink circle).

For quantum computers, silicon’s springtime may finally have arrived.

Silicon-based technology is a late bloomer in the quantum computing world, lagging behind other methods. Now for the first time, scientists have performed simple algorithms on a silicon-based quantum computer, physicist Lieven Vandersypen and colleagues report online February 14 in Nature.  

The computer has just two quantum bits, or qubits, so it can perform only rudimentary computations. But the demonstration is “really the first of its kind in silicon,” says quantum physicist Jason Petta of Princeton University, who was not involved with the research.

Petta and colleagues report making silicon qubits interact with light in another paper also published online February 14 in Nature. That feat could eventually allow silicon

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