Quantum computer based on shuttling ions is built by Honeywell
+ A quantum charged coupled device – a type of trapped-ion quantum computer first proposed 20 years ago – has finally been fully realized by researchers at Honeywell in the US. Other researchers in the field believe the design, which offers notable advantages over other quantum computing platforms, could potentially enable quantum computers to scale to huge numbers of quantum bits (qubits) and fully realize their potential.
Hensinger is impressed with the Honeywell device: “This is really a phase change now we have a complete machine built on a shuttling-based approach,” he says; “It has been demonstrated with all the key ingredients. People often ask me when we can have a million-qubit machine: obviously there are still many, many challenges to be overcome, but I think this [research] demonstrates that it is a straight engineering path.”
+ Trapped-ion qubits were used to implement the first quantum logic gates in 1995, and the proposal for a quantum charged coupled device (QCCD) – a type of quantum computer with actions controlled by shuffling the ions around – was first made in 2002 by researchers led by David Wineland of the US National Institute of Standards and Technology, who went on to win the 2012 Nobel Prize for Physics for his work.
+ Their device has only six qubits, compared to 53 superconducting qubits in Google’s Sycamore – the machine with which Google claimed quantum advantage in 2019. However, Honeywell’s computer is arguably more powerful because of the flexibility of the QCCD architecture: “These ions are fully connected,” explains team member David Hayes; “With superconducting qubits or things like them, you can’t have a qubit over here talk to a qubit over there if there’s a whole bunch of qubits in the way – you have to move that information through there, and there’s a whole bunch of errors that will accumulate along the way.”
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