Dr Henry Yang and Professor Andrew Dzurak with a dilution refrigerator designed to keep qubits operating at extremely cold temperatures.
Most quantum computers being developed around the world will only work at fractions of a degree above absolute zero.
That requires multi-million-dollar refrigeration and as soon as you plug them into conventional electronic circuits they’ll instantly overheat.
The researchers’ proof-of-concept quantum processor unit cell, on a silicon chip, works at 1.5 Kelvin – 15 times warmer than the main competing chip-based technology being developed by Google, IBM, and others, which uses superconducting qubits.
Quantum computers are expected to outperform conventional ones for a range of important problems, from precision drug-making to search algorithms.
The unit cell developed by Dzurak’s team comprises two qubits confined in a pair of quantum dots embedded in silicon.
It would also be easier to integrate with conventional silicon chips, which will be needed to control the quantum processor. »