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Primeur weekly 2014-05-12

The Cloud

HP launches HP Helion portfolio of Cloud products and services ...

New EMC Hybrid Cloud solution helps speed IT delivery ...

Pivotal and VMware accelerate enterprise application time to market with hybrid Cloud Platform-as-a-Service ...

SAP and VMware announce SAP HANA for production use on VMware vSphere 5.5 ...

Desktop Grids

Citizen science portal launches crowdfunding campaign ...

EuroFlash

Calibre brings real-world innovation to InfoComm 2014 ...

Top global weather service selects Altair for petascale workload management ...

Altair announces keynote presentations and detailed agenda for the 7th European Altair Technology Conference in Munich ...

Still time to save on ISC'14 registration - Register online by May 15 ...

Cosmic simulation using GADGET on a supercomputer ...

Toshiba Research Europe, BT, NPL and ADVA explore 'quantum leap' in encryption technology ...

3D modelling of the Sun: from the core to the surface ...

USFlash

UTSA Cloud and BigData Laboratory launches one of the largest open Clouds in academia ...

Astronomers create first realistic virtual universe ...

SDSC resources and expertise used in genomic analysis of 115 year-old woman ...

Teen mentored by UC San Diego professors wins $250,000 in science prizes ...

First-of-a-kind supercomputer at Lawrence Livermore available for collaborative research ...

Seven of the USA's leading technology institutions unveil cognitive computing courses leveraging IBM Watson ...

Computer scientists develop tool for uncovering bot-controlled Twitter accounts ...

Molecular, neural and bacterial networks provide insights for computer network security, Carnegie Mellon researchers find ...

HP extends industry-leading Z Workstation family into virtualization realm ...

Collaborative 'metasurfaces' grant to merge classical and quantum physics ...

EMC to acquire DSSD Inc. and extends Flash storage leadership ...

Superconducting qubit array points the way to quantum computers ...

Graphene for real-world devices ...

Superconducting qubit array points the way to quantum computers


Erik Lucero
23 Apr 2014 Santa Barbara - A fully functional quantum computer is one of the holy grails of physics. Unlike conventional computers, the quantum version uses qubits (quantum bits), which make direct use of the multiple states of quantum phenomena. When realized, a quantum computer will be millions of times more powerful at certain computations than today's supercomputers.

A group of UC Santa Barbara physicists has moved one step closer to making a quantum computer a reality by demonstrating a new level of reliability in a five-qubit array. Their findings appear in the journalNature.

Quantum computing is anything but simple. It relies on aspects of quantum mechanics such as superposition. This notion holds that any physical object, such as an atom or electron - what quantum computers use to store information - can exist in all of its theoretical states simultaneously. This could take parallel computing to new heights.

"Quantum hardware is very, very unreliable compared to classical hardware", stated Austin Fowler, a staff scientist in the physics department, whose theoretical work inspired the experiments of the Martinis Group. "Even the best state-of-the-art hardware is unreliable. Our paper shows that for the first time reliability has been reached."

While the Martinis Group has shown logic operations at the threshold, the array must operate below the threshold to provide an acceptable margin of error. "Qubits are faulty, so error correction is necessary", stated graduate student and co-lead author Julian Kelly who worked on the five-qubit array.

"We need to improve and we would like to scale up to larger systems", stated lead author Rami Barends, a postdoctoral fellow with the group. "The intrinsic physics of control and coupling won't have to change but the engineering around it is going to be a big challenge."

The unique configuration of the group's array results from the flexibility of geometry at the superconductive level, which allowed the scientists to create cross-shaped qubits they named Xmons. Superconductivity results when certain materials are cooled to a critical level that removes electrical resistance and eliminates magnetic fields. The team chose to place five Xmons in a single row, with each qubit talking to its nearest neighbor, a simple but effective arrangement.

"Motivated by theoretical work, we started really thinking seriously about what we had to do to move forward", stated John Martinis, a professor in UCSB's Department of Physics. "It took us a while to figure out how simple it was, and simple, in the end, was really the best."

"If you want to build a quantum computer, you need a two-dimensional array of such qubits, and the error rate should be below 1 percent", stated Austin Fowler. "If we can get one order of magnitude lower - in the area of 10-3 or 1 in 1,000 for all our gates - our qubits could become commercially viable. But there are more issues that need to be solved. There are more frequencies to worry about and it's certainly true that it's more complex. However, the physics is no different."

According to John Martinis, it was Austin Fowler's surface code that pointed the way, providing an architecture to put the qubits together in a certain way. "All of a sudden, we knew exactly what it was we wanted to build because of the surface code", John Martinis stated. "It took a lot of hard work to figure out how to piece the qubits together and control them properly. The amazing thing is that all of our hopes of how well it would work came true."
Source: University of California - Santa Barbara

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2014-05-12

The Cloud

HP launches HP Helion portfolio of Cloud products and services ...

New EMC Hybrid Cloud solution helps speed IT delivery ...

Pivotal and VMware accelerate enterprise application time to market with hybrid Cloud Platform-as-a-Service ...

SAP and VMware announce SAP HANA for production use on VMware vSphere 5.5 ...

Desktop Grids

Citizen science portal launches crowdfunding campaign ...

EuroFlash

Calibre brings real-world innovation to InfoComm 2014 ...

Top global weather service selects Altair for petascale workload management ...

Altair announces keynote presentations and detailed agenda for the 7th European Altair Technology Conference in Munich ...

Still time to save on ISC'14 registration - Register online by May 15 ...

Cosmic simulation using GADGET on a supercomputer ...

Toshiba Research Europe, BT, NPL and ADVA explore 'quantum leap' in encryption technology ...

3D modelling of the Sun: from the core to the surface ...

USFlash

UTSA Cloud and BigData Laboratory launches one of the largest open Clouds in academia ...

Astronomers create first realistic virtual universe ...

SDSC resources and expertise used in genomic analysis of 115 year-old woman ...

Teen mentored by UC San Diego professors wins $250,000 in science prizes ...

First-of-a-kind supercomputer at Lawrence Livermore available for collaborative research ...

Seven of the USA's leading technology institutions unveil cognitive computing courses leveraging IBM Watson ...

Computer scientists develop tool for uncovering bot-controlled Twitter accounts ...

Molecular, neural and bacterial networks provide insights for computer network security, Carnegie Mellon researchers find ...

HP extends industry-leading Z Workstation family into virtualization realm ...

Collaborative 'metasurfaces' grant to merge classical and quantum physics ...

EMC to acquire DSSD Inc. and extends Flash storage leadership ...

Superconducting qubit array points the way to quantum computers ...

Graphene for real-world devices ...