acm-header
Sign In

Communications of the ACM

ACM TechNews

Programmable Ions Set the Stage For General-Purpose Quantum Computers


View as: Print Mobile App Share:
Closeup of an ion trap.

Researchers at the Joint Quantum Institute and the Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science at the University of Maryland say they have introduced the first fully programmable, reconfigurable quantum computer module.

Credit: Shantanu Debnath, Emily Edwards/JQI

Researchers at the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) and the Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science at the University of Maryland have introduced the first fully programmable and reconfigurable quantum computer module.

The team dubbed the new device a module because of its potential to connect with copies of itself, and it takes advantage of the unique properties offered by trapped ions to run any algorithm on five quantum bits (qubits).

At the module's heart is a database that stores the best shapes for the laser pulses that drive quantum logic gates, and it uses software to translate an algorithm into the pulses in the database.

The researchers tested their module on small instances of three problems that quantum computers are known to solve quickly, and they report two algorithms ran successfully more than 90% of the time, while a Quantum Fourier Transform topped out at a 70% success rate.

"Our experiment brings high-quality quantum bits up to a higher level of functionality by allowing them to be programmed and reconfigured in software," says JQI's Christopher Monroe.

The researchers believe eventually more qubits--perhaps as many as 100--could be added to their quantum computer module. They also say it is possible to link separate modules together.

From Joint Quantum Institute
View Full Article

 

Abstracts Copyright © 2016 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


 

No entries found