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Meet the Woman Leading the Race to Build the World's First Quantum Computer

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Michelle Simmons, director of the University of New South Wales' Center of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology.

Researchers at Australia's University of New South Wales continue to make strides towards developing a practical quantum computer.

Credit: Dan White/University of New South Wales

The University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia continues to make strides in developing the world's first practical quantum computer.

In October, researchers demonstrated calculations between silicon bits for the first time, and a month later demonstrated a quantum version of computer code could be written on a silicon microchip, doing so at the highest level of accuracy recorded.

"Now, we're aiming to build the first quantum integrated circuit, which we're aiming for by 2020," says Michelle Simmons, director of UNSW's Center of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology. "Beyond that, we must do error correction, so that if errors come into the chip, you can run multiple processes in parallel to eliminate those errors--and that error correction will take another five years or so."

Simmons notes it has now been proven that quantum states can be controlled at the fundamental level. "The big killer is, at what point do we build a processor big enough that it's faster than a classical computer?" she says. "That means moving away from small-scale models to integrated processing devices and prototypes."

From The Guardian
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