July 2, 2009

First solid-state quantum chip is created

A U.S.-led team of physicists says it has created the first rudimentary, solid-state quantum processor, moving science closer to building a quantum computer.

Yale University scientists said they also used the two-qubit superconducting chip to successfully run elementary algorithms, such as a simple search, demonstrating quantum information processing with a solid-state device for the first time.

Our processor can perform only a few very simple quantum tasks, which have been demonstrated before with single nuclei, atoms and photons, Yale Professor Robert Schoelkopf said. "But this is the first time they've been possible in an all-electronic device that looks and feels much more like a regular microprocessor.

We're still far away from building a practical quantum computer, but this is a major step forward, Schoelkopf added.

The study that included scientists from the University of Waterloo and the University of Sherbrooke, both in Canada, and the Vienna University of Technology's Institute of Atomic and Subatomic Physics, appears in the online edition of the journal Nature.