Australian researchers claim to have passed a significant milestone toward quantum computers as they said they were able to create the first qubit based on a single atom in silicon.
The scientists consider their achievement a major breakthrough as they were able to use a common material and they stressed that only 300 qubits would be required to store "a number greater than the number of particles in the universe."
According to a paper published in the journal Nature, the researchers are able to use their discovery to read and write information from and to the qubit. There was no information about the storage duration, which remains a key problem in this field. However, they believe that "quantum computation" would now be possible within "1 to 2 years" and "transporting quantum information across chips" within 3 to 4 years, Australian IT writes. Everything combined, their vision is that the first quantum computers could be built in about 5 to 10 years.
In the next step, the researchers aim to create pairs of quantum bits and build a two-qubit logic gate as the basic foundation of a quantum computer. "This has never been done before in silicon, a material that offers the advantage of being well understood scientifically and more easily adopted by industry," said Andrea Morello, who is part of the research effort. "Our technology is fundamentally the same as is already being used in countless everyday electronic devices, and that's a trillion-dollar industry."