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Researchers 'Teleport' Data Between Two Chips Via Quantum Entanglement

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EDIT 12/27/19 2:50pm PT: Clarified that faster than light communication would contradict established theorems. 

Clarified article:

Quantum entanglement isn't a new term by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, it was once described by Albert Einstein as 'spooky action at a distance' because quantum entanglement appears to disobey one particular law of physics: the speed of light. It hasn't quite been sorted out to work for us in any tangible manner that can be implemented at a large scale, though, up until recently: Researchers from the University of Bristol and the Technical University of Denmark claim to have achieved the world's first chip-to-chip quantum teleportation on silicon -- a remarkable achievement that has been published in the journal Nature Physics (spotted by

Quantum entanglement is the mating of two quantum particles, which will share a state regardless of their location respective to one another -- in other words, when particle A is manipulated, the effects will be measurable on particle B instantaneously, whether they are near each other or at a great distance. The theory is that this distance can be infinitely long, but the effects will still be instantly measurable, which would apparently enable faster-than-light communications even though that would fly against established theorems. Hence Einstein's remark.

“We were able to demonstrate a high-quality entanglement link across two chips in the lab, where photons on either chip share a single quantum state." said co-author Dan Llewellyn. “Each chip was then fully programmed to perform a range of demonstrations which utilize the entanglement. The flagship demonstration was a two-chip teleportation experiment, whereby the individual quantum state of a particle is transmitted across the two chips after a quantum measurement is performed. This measurement utilises the strange behaviour of quantum physics, which simultaneously collapses the entanglement link and transfers the particle state to another particle already on the receiver chip.”

Lead author, Dr Jianwei Wang, said: “In the future, a single silicon chip integration of quantum photonic devices and classical electronic controls will open the door for fully chip-based CMOS-compatible quantum communication and information processing networks.”

The results from the lab are also impressive with 91 percent of teleported data arriving as intended. Of course, that's the raw data stream, and using data packaging and hashing methods as we do today on other data transfer methods can ensure that all the data will arrive successfully at the cost of some bandwidth. 

This isn't the step to full-fledged quantum computing though, but the ability for two pieces of silicon to communicate using quantum entanglement is a world's first, and an essential step in both quantum computing and the building of a quantum internet.

Niels Broekhuijsen

Niels Broekhuijsen is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He reviews cases, water cooling and pc builds.