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Primeur weekly 2017-09-18

Special

2017 - Another year on the Road to Exascale: The state of exascale progress today ...

Focus

ETP4HPC plays instrumental role in development of European exascale programme ...

Atos/Bull to provide customers with mix of processor architectures and new BXI interconnect ...

Quantum computing

IBM pioneers new approach to simulate chemistry with quantum computing ...

The dark side of quantum computers ...

Toward unbreakable encrypted messages ...

First on-chip nanoscale optical quantum memory developed ...

Focus on Europe

HPC Advisory Council and ISC Group announce the 2018 Student Cluster Competition ...

Digital Infrastructures for Research 2017 to announce Call for Abstracts ...

HPC alliance GW4 shortlisted for Times Higher Education award ...

New GPU power for machine learning and HPC at CSC Finland ...

Mexico launches HPC initiative for Energy Research and Development supported by BSC ...

Middleware

PGI 17.7 compilers for heterogeneous supercomputing now available ...

Hardware

Supermicro launches petabyte scale 1U server and JBOF ...

Packet partners with Arm to accelerate adoption of Armv8-A for data centre workloads ...

Xilinx, Arm, Cadence, and TSMC announce world's first CCIX silicon demonstration vehicle in 7nm process technology ...

Applications

Supercomputing power to study brain function ...

Julia joins Petaflop Club ...

BSC participates in eTRANSAFE, a project for new drug safety assessment and integrative data analysis research ...

NERSC supercomputers help Berkeley Lab scientists map key DNA protein complex ...

Study clarifies how neural nets think when processing language ...

Modelling a city's minuscule changes ...

The Cloud

Oracle joins the Cloud Native Computing Foundation ...

Dell EMC and IBM to offer VMware solutions on the IBM Cloud ...

VMware speeds customer time to value for SDDC and multi-Cloud management with new vRealize suite 2017 ...

First on-chip nanoscale optical quantum memory developed


Artist's representation of the quantum memory device. Credit: Ella Maru Studio.
11 Sep 2017 Pasadena - For the first time, an international team led by engineers at Caltech has developed a computer chip with nanoscale optical quantum memory. Quantum memory stores information in a similar fashion to the way traditional computer memory does, but on individual quantum particles - in this case, photons of light. This allows it to take advantage of the peculiar features of quantum mechanics - such as superposition, in which a quantum element can exist in two distinct states simultaneously - to store data more efficiently and securely.

"Such a device is an essential component for the future development of optical quantum networks that could be used to transmit quantum information", stated Andrei Faraon (BS '04), assistant professor of applied physics and materials science in the Division of Engineering and Applied Science at Caltech, and the corresponding author of a paper describing the new chip.

The study appeared online ahead of publication bySciencemagazine on August 31.

"This technology not only leads to extreme miniaturization of quantum memory devices, it also enables better control of the interactions between individual photons and atoms", stated Tian Zhong, lead author of the study and a Caltech postdoctoral scholar. Tian Zhong is also an acting assistant professor of molecular engineering at the University of Chicago, where he will set up a laboratory to develop quantum photonic technologies in March 2018.

The use of individual photons to store and transmit data has long been a goal of engineers and physicists because of their potential to carry information reliably and securely. Because photons lack charge and mass, they can be transmitted across a fiber optic network with minimal interactions with other particles.

The new quantum memory chip is analogous to a traditional memory chip in a computer. Both store information in a binary code. With traditional memory, information is stored by flipping billions of tiny electronic switches either on or off, representing either a 1 or a 0. That 1 or 0 is known as a bit. By contrast, quantum memory stores information via the quantum properties of individual elementary particles - in this case, a light particle. A fundamental characteristic of those quantum properties - which include polarization and orbital angular momentum - is that they can exist in multiple states at the same time. This means that a quantum bit - known as a qubit - can represent a 1 and a 0 at the same time.

To store photons, Andrei Faraon's team created memory modules using optical cavities made from crystals doped with rare-earth ions. Each memory module is like a miniature racetrack, measuring just 700 nanometers wide by 15 microns long - on the scale of a red blood cell. Each module was cooled to about 0.5 Kelvin - just above Absolute Zero (0 Kelvin, or -273.15 Celsius) - and then a heavily filtered laser pumped single photons into the modules. Each photon was absorbed efficiently by the rare-earth ions with the help of the cavity.

The photons were released 75 nanoseconds later, and checked to see whether they had faithfully retained the information recorded on them. Ninety-seven percent of the time, they had, Andrei Faraon said.

Next, the team plans to extend the time that the memory can store information, as well as its efficiency. To create a viable quantum network that sends information over hundreds of kilometers, the memory will need to accurately store data for at least one millisecond. The team also plans to work on ways to integrate the quantum memory into more complex circuits, taking the first steps toward deploying this technology in quantum networks.

The study is titled " Nanophotonic rare-earth quantum memory with optically controlled retrieval ". Other Caltech co-authors include postdoctoral researcher John G. Bartholomew; graduate students Jonathan M. Kindem (MS '17), Jake Rochman, and Ioana Craiciu (MS '17); and former graduate student Evan Miyazono (MS '15, PhD '17). Additional authors are from the University of Verona in Italy; the University of Parma in Italy; the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Colorado; and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which is managed for NASA by Caltech. This research was funded by the National Science Foundation, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Source: California Institute of Technology

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2017-09-18

Special

2017 - Another year on the Road to Exascale: The state of exascale progress today ...

Focus

ETP4HPC plays instrumental role in development of European exascale programme ...

Atos/Bull to provide customers with mix of processor architectures and new BXI interconnect ...

Quantum computing

IBM pioneers new approach to simulate chemistry with quantum computing ...

The dark side of quantum computers ...

Toward unbreakable encrypted messages ...

First on-chip nanoscale optical quantum memory developed ...

Focus on Europe

HPC Advisory Council and ISC Group announce the 2018 Student Cluster Competition ...

Digital Infrastructures for Research 2017 to announce Call for Abstracts ...

HPC alliance GW4 shortlisted for Times Higher Education award ...

New GPU power for machine learning and HPC at CSC Finland ...

Mexico launches HPC initiative for Energy Research and Development supported by BSC ...

Middleware

PGI 17.7 compilers for heterogeneous supercomputing now available ...

Hardware

Supermicro launches petabyte scale 1U server and JBOF ...

Packet partners with Arm to accelerate adoption of Armv8-A for data centre workloads ...

Xilinx, Arm, Cadence, and TSMC announce world's first CCIX silicon demonstration vehicle in 7nm process technology ...

Applications

Supercomputing power to study brain function ...

Julia joins Petaflop Club ...

BSC participates in eTRANSAFE, a project for new drug safety assessment and integrative data analysis research ...

NERSC supercomputers help Berkeley Lab scientists map key DNA protein complex ...

Study clarifies how neural nets think when processing language ...

Modelling a city's minuscule changes ...

The Cloud

Oracle joins the Cloud Native Computing Foundation ...

Dell EMC and IBM to offer VMware solutions on the IBM Cloud ...

VMware speeds customer time to value for SDDC and multi-Cloud management with new vRealize suite 2017 ...