Ion Quantum Computers Could Outclass Their Competition

in science •  18 days ago

Making an ion quantum computer that has a completely different architecture compared to current quantum computers is no easy task. But once they get rolling they work great.

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Commercial quantum computers that use ions or trapped ion quantum computers may not seem like a great idea at first glance. While there are small ion quantum computers around the world that utilize ions – atoms without a set number of electrons connected into chains – they don’t seem that commercially viable. Their qubits need an almost ideal vacuum and are trapped in electric fields. And each of the ions needs two lasers. This all together allows the qubits to work and vibrate in the same rhytm.

The current “commercial” quantum computers used superconductive elements in printed circuits that are essentially makable with the technologies of the electronic industry. On the other hand, the ion based quantum computers are superior in their calculation abilities but are a much tougher nut to crack for the industry.

But the creators of ion quantum computers aren’t giving up. One of them is the company IonQ from Maryland. They built an ion quantum computer and calculated the ground state energy of a water molecule with it. This may not sound that extraordinary as even normal computers can do that. But this is exactly the type of application in which quantum computers excel.

The ion quantum computer made by IonQ uses 160 or 79 qubits depending on whether it is saving or calculating a quantum information. So far, the ion quantum computers only had roughly 10 qubits available. Now, only time will tell if ion quantum computers will be the next big step in computing.

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