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Primeur weekly 2013-03-18

Exascale supercomputing

OFC/NFOEC features new research in low-power supercomputing, long-distance 400G data transmission, and simplified multicore fiber nanufacturing ...

Big Bang meets Big Data: South Africa joins ASTRON and IBM to build the foundation for a new era of computing ...

The Cloud

VMware outlines corporate strategy, innovations across software-defined data centre, hybrid Cloud and end-user computing ...

New Open Data Center Alliance White Paper highlights adoption of ODCA Cloud usage models ...

IBM helps Black Point Arts provide faster IT services through City Cloud ...

Desktop Grids

SubSetSum@Home project trying to solve NP-complete problem, known as Subset Sum ...

EuroFlash

451 Research Report: Will Energy Prices Power U.S. Datacentre Growth at Europe's Expense and Short-Circuit Energy Efficiency? ...

ClusterVision completes Top500 class HPC cluster at the University of Paderborn ...

New mathematical techniques allow simulations off-shore wind farms ...

Researchers wanted for The Big Data Challenge ...

PRACE's Open R&D HPC access for industry awarded in a European e-Infrastructure FP7 Project Success Story Competition ...

First Europe-China HPC Conference "Partnership for supercomputing applications in science and industry" ...

PRACE Scientific Conference 2013 to be hosted at ISC'13 in Leipzig ...

PRACE Spring School 2013 to address New and Emerging Technologies - Programming for Accelerators ...

PRACE Summer School 2013 to highlight Frameworks for Scientific Computing on Supercomputers ...

N8 HPC showcased to boost collaboration with industry ...

European Commission selects HP to prpvide mission-critical servers ...

Oracle's "Big Data Readiness Report" for Europe, Middle East and Russia now available ...

USFlash

Fujitsu and NAOJ Begin Operation of Supercomputer for ALMA ...

iVEC@Curtin creates one-stop-shop for IT services ...

DataDirect Networks delivers faster performance than Flash storage, improving trading algorithm development and risk management for financial services companies ...

IBM taps next generation leaders to fuel Watson innovations; USC students aim high in first-ever West Coast Case Competition ...

Quantum computing moves forward ...

Turing Award to the Weizmann Institute's Shafi Goldwasser ...

IBM Software helps Illinois Department of Human Services manage Big Data and transform operations ...

Quantum computing moves forward

8 Mar 2013 Princeton - New tech­nolo­gies that exploit quan­tum behav­iour for com­put­ing and other appli­ca­tions are closer than ever to being real­ized due to recent advances, accord­ing to a review arti­cle pub­lished in the jour­nal Sci­ence.

These advances could enable the cre­ation of immensely pow­er­ful com­put­ers as well as other appli­ca­tions, such as highly sen­si­tive detec­tors capa­ble of prob­ing bio­log­i­cal sys­tems. "We are really excited about the pos­si­bil­i­ties of new semi­con­duc­tor mate­ri­als and new exper­i­men­tal sys­tems that have become avail­able in the last decade", stated Jason Petta, one of the authors of the report and an asso­ciate pro­fes­sor of physics at Prince­ton University.

Jason Petta co-authored the arti­cle with David Awschalom of the Uni­ver­sity of Chicago, Lee Bas­set of the Uni­ver­sity of California-Santa Bar­bara, Andrew Dzu­rak of the Uni­ver­sity of New South Wales and Eve­lyn Hu of Har­vard University.

Two sig­nif­i­cant break­throughs are enabling this for­ward progress, Jason Petta said. The first is the abil­ity to con­trol quan­tum units of infor­ma­tion, known as quan­tum bits, at room tem­per­a­ture. Until recently,

tem­per­a­tures near absolute zero were required, but new diamond-based mate­ri­als allow spin qubits to be oper­ated on a table top, at room tem­per­a­ture. Diamond-based sen­sors could be used to image sin­gle

mol­e­cules, as demon­strated ear­lier this year by David Awschalom and researchers at Stan­ford Uni­ver­sity and IBM Research (Sci­enc, 2013).

The sec­ond big devel­op­ment is the abil­ity to con­trol these quan­tum bits, or qubits, for sev­eral sec­onds before they lapse into clas­si­cal behav­iour, a feat achieved by Andrew Dzurak's team (Nature, 2010) as well as Prince­ton researchers led by Stephen Lyon, pro­fes­sor of elec­tri­cal engi­neer­ing (Nature Mate­ri­als, 2012). The devel­op­ment of highly pure forms of sil­i­con, the same mate­r­ial used in today's clas­si­cal com­put­ers, has enabled researchers to con­trol a quan­tum mechan­i­cal prop­erty known as "spin". At Prince­ton, Stephen Lyon and his team demon­strated the con­trol of spin in bil­lions of elec­trons, a state known as coher­ence, for sev­eral sec­onds by using highly pure silicon-28.

Quantum-based tech­nolo­gies exploit the phys­i­cal rules that gov­ern very small par­ti­cles - such as atoms and elec­trons - rather than the clas­si­cal physics evi­dent in every­day life. New tech­nolo­gies based on

"spin­tron­ics" rather than elec­tron charge, as is cur­rently used, would be much more pow­er­ful than cur­rent technologies.

In quantum-based sys­tems, the direc­tion of the spin - either up or down - serves as the basic unit of

infor­ma­tion, which is anal­o­gous to the 0 or 1 bit in a clas­si­cal com­put­ing sys­tem. Unlike our clas­si­cal world, an elec­tron spin can assume both a 0 and 1 at the same time, a feat called entan­gle­ment, which greatly enhances the abil­ity to do computations.

A remain­ing chal­lenge is to find ways to trans­mit quan­tum infor­ma­tion over long dis­tances. Jason Petta is explor­ing how to do this with col­lab­o­ra­tor Andrew Houck, asso­ciate pro­fes­sor of elec­tri­cal engi­neer­ing at Prince­ton. Last fall in the jour­nalNature, the team pub­lished a study demon­strat­ing the

cou­pling of a spin qubit to a par­ti­cle of light, known as a pho­ton, which acts as a shut­tle for the quan­tum information.

Yet another remain­ing hur­dle is to scale up the num­ber of qubits from a hand­ful to hun­dreds, accord­ing to the researchers. Sin­gle quan­tum bits have been made using a vari­ety of mate­ri­als, includ­ing elec­tronic and nuclear spins, as well as superconductors.

Some of the most excit­ing appli­ca­tions are in new sens­ing and imag­ing tech­nolo­gies rather than in

com­put­ing, said Jason Petta. "Most peo­ple agree that build­ing a real quan­tum com­puter that can fac­tor large num­bers is still a long ways out", he stated. "How­ever, there has been a change in the way we think about quan­tum mechan­ics – now we are think­ing about quantum-enabled tech­nolo­gies, such as using a spin qubit as a sen­si­tive mag­netic field detec­tor to probe bio­log­i­cal systems."

Authors of "Quan­tum Spin­tron­ics: Engi­neer­ing and Manip­u­lat­ing Atom-Like Spins in Semi­con­duc­tors" are Awschalom, David D., Bas­sett, Lee C. Dzu­rak, Andrew S., Hu, Eve­lyn L., and Petta, Jason R. The paper appears inScience, Vol. 339 no. 6124 pp. 1174-1179. DOI: 10.1126/science.1231364.

The research at Prince­ton Uni­ver­sity was sup­ported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foun­da­tion, the David and Lucile Packard Foun­da­tion, US Army Research Office grant W911NF-08-1-0189, DARPA QuEST award HR0011-09-1-0007 and the US National Sci­ence Foun­da­tion through the Prince­ton Cen­ter for Com­plex Mate­ri­als (DMR-0819860) and CAREER award DMR-0846341.

Source: Princeton University

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2013-03-18

Exascale supercomputing

OFC/NFOEC features new research in low-power supercomputing, long-distance 400G data transmission, and simplified multicore fiber nanufacturing ...

Big Bang meets Big Data: South Africa joins ASTRON and IBM to build the foundation for a new era of computing ...

The Cloud

VMware outlines corporate strategy, innovations across software-defined data centre, hybrid Cloud and end-user computing ...

New Open Data Center Alliance White Paper highlights adoption of ODCA Cloud usage models ...

IBM helps Black Point Arts provide faster IT services through City Cloud ...

Desktop Grids

SubSetSum@Home project trying to solve NP-complete problem, known as Subset Sum ...

EuroFlash

451 Research Report: Will Energy Prices Power U.S. Datacentre Growth at Europe's Expense and Short-Circuit Energy Efficiency? ...

ClusterVision completes Top500 class HPC cluster at the University of Paderborn ...

New mathematical techniques allow simulations off-shore wind farms ...

Researchers wanted for The Big Data Challenge ...

PRACE's Open R&D HPC access for industry awarded in a European e-Infrastructure FP7 Project Success Story Competition ...

First Europe-China HPC Conference "Partnership for supercomputing applications in science and industry" ...

PRACE Scientific Conference 2013 to be hosted at ISC'13 in Leipzig ...

PRACE Spring School 2013 to address New and Emerging Technologies - Programming for Accelerators ...

PRACE Summer School 2013 to highlight Frameworks for Scientific Computing on Supercomputers ...

N8 HPC showcased to boost collaboration with industry ...

European Commission selects HP to prpvide mission-critical servers ...

Oracle's "Big Data Readiness Report" for Europe, Middle East and Russia now available ...

USFlash

Fujitsu and NAOJ Begin Operation of Supercomputer for ALMA ...

iVEC@Curtin creates one-stop-shop for IT services ...

DataDirect Networks delivers faster performance than Flash storage, improving trading algorithm development and risk management for financial services companies ...

IBM taps next generation leaders to fuel Watson innovations; USC students aim high in first-ever West Coast Case Competition ...

Quantum computing moves forward ...

Turing Award to the Weizmann Institute's Shafi Goldwasser ...

IBM Software helps Illinois Department of Human Services manage Big Data and transform operations ...