Quantum Computing on Silicon

UK-based startup measures the quantum state of a single electron on a CMOS chip.

Quantum Motion, a UK-based company founded by academics from University College London (UCL) and Oxford University, has announced a breakthrough that they say could lead to the production of quantum computers with conventional chip fabrication technology.

According to the press release, researchers were able to “...isolate and measure the quantum state of a single electron for a period of nine seconds on a CMOS chip.” Although the chips used for the experiment were more like standard silicon chips, they were kept in an extreme refrigerated state, which the company describes as “a fraction of a degree above absolute zero.”

Despite the requirement of extreme temperatures, the promise of achieving qubit-like behavior with a standard silicon chip could be a major development for the quantum computing industry. Many of the schemes for building quantum computers depend on exotic and highly specialized equipment. The power to leverage proven chip-building techniques could make it much easier to build quantum components at the scale necessary to assemble a viable, production-ready quantum computing system.