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World First Room Temperature Quantum Computer Installed in Australia

A promotional image of Quantum Brilliance's diamond-based quantum accelerator.
(Image credit: Quantum Brilliance)

The world's first on-premises, room-temperature quantum computer has just been installed in Pawsey's Supercomputing Research Centre, in Australia. Developed by Australian start-up Quantum Brilliance, the quantum accelerator doesn't require any exotic cooling methods to maintain quantum coherence, and has even been developed for installation in a typical rack system. The new quantum accelerator will thus be taken for a spin in tandem with Pawsey's new, state-of-the-art Setonix, its HPE Cray Ex supercomputer.

The room-temperature achievement was unlocked due to Quantum Brilliance's approach to quantum computing; instead of the more common ion chains, silicon quantum dots, or superconducting transmon qubits, Quantum Brilliance took advantage of specifically implanted nitrogen-vacancy centers in synthetic diamonds (where a carbon atom is replaced by a nitrogen one).

These vacancy centers amount to defects in the diamond's structure, which feature a photoluminescence capability that allows for the qubits' spin states to be read based on the emitted light's characteristics, without directly interacting with the qubits. A number of techniques, such as magnetic or electric fields, microwave radiation, or light (Quantum Brilliance uses a green laser technology for this purpose) can be used to directly manipulate the nitrogen-vacancy center's qubits. Quantum Brilliance's qubits are described by the company as being in the "middle of the pack" for coherence times and performance, being slower than superconducting qubits, but faster than the trapped-ion approach of some other providers.

Andrew Horsley, CEO of Quantum Brilliance, painted the field trial as a significant step for the company on its journey to achieve a quantum technology that's smaller, compatible, more flexible, and ultimately able to operate in any environment.

“Our vision is to take quantum from mainframe to mainstream — running your mobile phone, your car, your work platforms, or anywhere close to the application where it is needed," said Horsley. "This collaboration is our first step toward achieving this goal.”

The partnership with the Pawsey Supercomputing Research Centre aims to supercharge the pairing of quantum and classical systems by establishing initial, hybrid environments that could diagnose bottlenecks and possible improvements towards the quantum-classical integration.

While nowadays most quantum computing work is done in a simulated environment in platforms such as IBM's Quiskit and Nvidia's cuQuantum initiative, the deployment of a room-temperature quantum computer within a supercomputing centre will allow researchers to truly leverage on-site computing, maintenance and integration. The aim now will be to develop diagnostics and engineering workflows for this quantum-classical integration.

“The partnership between Pawsey and Quantum Brilliance will play a pivotal role in demonstrating how we can deliver classical-quantum compute power scale in a way never before seen in an HPC environment,” Pawsey’s Executive Director Mark Stickells said. “This will provide a testbed where real applications can be proved, so our researchers can do more effectively — enabling science and accelerating discovery."

Mark Stickells said the integration of the quantum accelerator into the HPC architecture would help its 4,000 researchers learn more about how the two systems can work in tandem.

“We look forward to seeing enterprises and researchers utilizing HPC as a hub to explore novel classical-quantum codes using Setonix and the quantum accelerator as a step towards the hybrid computing future,” he finished.

Francisco Pires
Francisco Pires

Francisco Pires is a freelance news writer for Tom's Hardware with a soft side for quantum computing.

  • w_barath
    Admin said:
    World First Room Temperature Quantum Computer Installed in Australia
    A number of techniques, such as magnetic or electric fields, microwave radiation, or light can be used to directly manipulate the nitrogen-vacancy center's electron spin.

    Nowhere in Quantum Brilliance's press materials does it say electron spin. In fact, the whole reason their tech works at room temp is because it doesn't use coherency-fragile electron spin for its quantum state.

    Instead it uses nuclear spin, which is many many orders of magnitude more stable.

    Please read and understand what you are posting about.
    Reply
  • warezme
    Yes hurry up and become a quantum mechanics physicist before you post another story to this tech blog. The nerve.
    Reply
  • hushnecampus
    warezme said:
    Yes hurry up and become a quantum mechanics physicist before you post another story to this tech blog. The nerve.
    Nobody’s saying every journalist needs to be a expert about everything they post about. But if they’re not an expert they should get help from one, or simply not write things they don’t know to be correct. Rule of thumb in life in general: if you don’t know something just be open about not knowing it.
    Reply
  • w_barath
    warezme said:
    Yes hurry up and become a quantum mechanics physicist before you post another story to this tech blog. The nerve.

    Actually, the author only needed to pay attention, and have a grade 10 science education. If you went to Sr High then you learned about Chemistry and Atoms. Electrons in orbitals, Protons and Neutrons in the nucleus, along with the Periodic Table of the Elements.

    Instead the author spoke out of their backside, apparently not having even read much beyond the headline. This level of reporting belongs at Beta News, not Tom's Hardware.
    Reply
  • Francisco Alexandre Pires
    w_barath said:
    Actually, the author only needed to pay attention, and have a grade 10 science education. If you went to Sr High then you learned about Chemistry and Atoms. Electrons in orbitals, Protons and Neutrons in the nucleus, along with the Periodic Table of the Elements.

    Instead the author spoke out of their backside, apparently not having even read much beyond the headline. This level of reporting belongs at Beta News, not Tom's Hardware.


    Thank you for the fair and clearly evidence-based conclusion.
    Reply
  • w_barath
    Francisco Alexandre Pires said:
    Thank you for the fair and clearly evidence-based conclusion.

    Conventionally, the body of an argument is evidence-based and the conclusion is opinion-based, supported by the preceding evidence. The colour of my opinion portrays a betrayal of trust.
    Your support is kindly appreciated, lol.
    Reply