Researchers might have broken one of the biggest obstacles to practical quantum computers with something called ‘hot’ qubits.
As many of you already know, the quantum computer is built around the quantum bit, or qubit. The colder and more isolated the qubit is, the less likely it is to flip to another quantum state when it’s not supposed to. But well-isolated qubits are also difficult to keep cold, and the more qubits a computer has, the more heat the system generates, and so we have to figure out how to keep these large quantum computers operating at an optimal temperature either by improving the cooling systems or by creating qubits that can operate at warmer temperatures. This is where researchers believe they have made a major breakthrough by using quantum dots embedded in silicon rather than basing their qubits off superconductors. This approach allows the qubits to operate at hotter temperatures…like 1.5 kelvin hot. That’s 15 times hotter than the main competing chip-based technology being developed by Google, IBM, and others.