“Really sloppy” Semiconductor Manufacturing Won’t Suffice in Quantum Computing’s Development
Interesting commentary. Though provided by a manufacturer of atomically precise manufacturing (APM) equipment, anyone with a background in solid-state devices will find truth to what is being stated. Cleaning up the semiconductor processes should go a long way in getting first-gen quantum computing chips to the commercial world. Qubit.
Quantum Technology NEEDS Atomically Precise Manufacturing
Excerpts and salient points ~
+ The problem with Semiconductor quantum dot qubits is that it appears that they can be manufactured in today’s modern semiconductor fabrication facilities. One would think that current semiconductor manufacturing equipment which is currently producing solid state devices with ~10nm minimum features should be the obvious choice to make quantum computers. However, semiconductor fabrication tools have poor relative precision, on the order of ± 10%, which is acceptable in non-quantum digital computers, but insufficient for quantum devices. Extremely complex classical digital circuits can nevertheless be created with this technology, because classical bits only have to distinguish between 0 and 1 and just have to be on either side of a threshold. It is a testament to semiconductor engineers that they can make such complex systems with essentially really sloppy relative precision.
I reiterate my belief that it is entirely appropriate to make the best quantum computers possible with the manufacturing tools that we presently have. However, if we do not, as a nation, at the same time invest in developing manufacturing tools that have significantly better manufacturing precision, we may come out strong in the first quarter but lose the game.
+ In order to effectively harness the power of quantum computers, we can no longer live with the sloppy fabrication of today’s semiconductor factories. Maintaining the specific mixture of the superimposed quantum states is crucial to the successful completion of quantum computation which requires much more precision that is currently available in manufacturing tools. Also, keep in mind that quantum phenomenon is expressed most strongly at the atomic scale and even atomic scale variations in the fabricated physical dimensions of these devices will make computation more difficult. This situation results in much more stringent fabrication tolerances for solid-state quantum devices.
+ We may have short term success in building Noisy Intermediate Scale Quantum (NISQ) computers but fail to develop the competitive scalable universal quantum computers that we seek. There are many paths to developing higher precision manufacturing tools. It would be prudent to fund a large portfolio of R&D efforts.
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