Taiwan connects its first home-grown quantum computer to the internet

Five mighty qubits, delivered before deadline, but they won’t stop imports of alternatives

Taiwanese research institute Academia Sinica has connected a home-brew quantum computer to the internet.

A January 19 announcement of the connection reveals that the machine has five qubits and is available as a test bed for the university's project collaborators, with other researchers able to use it as a development platform for their own efforts using the machine's ultra-low temperature CMOS and parametric amplifiers. Collaborators include the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, so this machine's success may assist US quantum development efforts.

The machine has already had an upgrade from three to five qubits, the announcement states, adding that cubit logic gate fidelity was measured at 99.9 percent – which suggests the computer is nicely stable.

Details of the machine's operating environment are absent in the University's statement, which focused on its strategic significance as a sign of progress in the drive to develop the island's quantum capabilities.

Taiwan has, of course, famously come to lead the world in semiconductor manufacturing. Framers of the island's aggressive industry policy will not have missed the likelihood that the rise of quantum systems may make its silicon prowess less relevant.

Indeed, local media yesterday reported that Taiwan's Semiconductor Research Institute has gone shopping for a five-qubit machine from Finland's IQM – manufacturer of a machine called the Spark which matches that spec.

The Spark is billed as "An affordably priced 5-qubit superconducting quantum computer, professionally designed and calibrated as a turnkey solution." That makes it sound a little more mature and easy to deploy than Academia Sinica's effort which, as illustrated below, has a few rough edges. ®

Academica Sinica Quantum Computer

Academica Sinica Quantum Computer – Click to enlarge

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