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posted by martyb on Wednesday September 29 2021, @08:33AM   Printer-friendly

Quantum computing hits the desktop, no cryo-cooling required:

Extreme vacuums, mu metals and microkelvin-temperature cryogenic cooling: this is not a recipe for affordable, portable or easily scalable quantum computing power. But an Australian-born startup says it has developed a quantum microprocessor that needs none of these things. Indeed, it runs happily at room temperature. Right now, it's the size of a rack unit. Soon, it'll be the size of a decent graphics card, and before too long it'll be small enough to fit in mobile devices alongside traditional processors.

If this company does what it says it can, you'll be able to integrate the advantages of quantum into computers of just about any size, freeing this powerful new technology from the constraints of supercomputer size and expense. Quantum software and calculations won't need to be done through a fast connection to a mainframe or the cloud, it'll be done on-site where it's needed. Pretty disruptive stuff.

Quantum Brilliance was founded in 2019 on the back of research undertaken by its founders at the Australian National University, where they developed techniques to manufacture, scale and control qubits embedded in synthetic diamond.

[...] This field itself is not new – indeed, room-temperature quantum qubits have been around experimentally for more than 20 years. Quantum Brilliance's contribution to the field is in working out how to manufacture these tiny things precisely and replicably, as well as in miniaturizing and integrating the control structures you need to get information in and out of the qubits – the two key areas that have held these devices back from scaling beyond a few qubits to date.

"Because diamond is such a rigid material," says QB co-founder and COO Mark Luo over a Zoom call, "it's really able to hold a lot of these properties in place – that allow these quantum phenomena to be more stable compared to other systems out there. Given that rigidity, we can actually leverage off a lot of pre-existing classical control systems."

[...] The company has already built a number of "Quantum development kits" in rack units, each with around 5 qubits to work with, and it's placing them with customers already, for benchmarking, integration, co-design opportunities and to let companies start working out where they'll be advantageous once they hit the market in a ~50-qubit "Quantum Accelerator" product form by around 2025. "We think over a decade," says Luo, "we can even produce a quantum system-on-a-chip for mobile devices. Because this is truly material science technology that can achieve that."

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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by bzipitidoo on Wednesday September 29 2021, @02:01PM (1 child)

    by bzipitidoo (4388) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 29 2021, @02:01PM (#1182734) Journal

    Especially in quantum computing, startups have little credibility. D-Wave overhyped what they really had, which was not general purpose quantum computing, but only quantum annealing.

    When they can run Shor's algorithm to factor large numbers, thereby breaking RSA encryption, then I'll concede they have it. For now, I hear over and over that working quantum computers are too small, all having less than 10 q-bits, or not able to maintain coherence for more than a second or two, and that scaling up is the problem. Yeah, scale. This Quantum Brilliance startup is talking too breezily about scaling up, as if the big, hard discoveries have been done, and now it's a relatively simple matter of refining their techniques.

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  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday September 29 2021, @10:42PM

    by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {}> on Wednesday September 29 2021, @10:42PM (#1182959) Journal

    I like that they are implanting the idea of PCIe quantum accelerators that you can put in a PC just like a graphics card. As for it actually happening, meh.

    When I saw this pop up I thought it was the 2-qubit SpinQ [].

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