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    Critical Thought

    Critical thoughts on quantum technologies

    The Future of Quantum Computing Lies in Scalable Semiconductor-Based Hardware

    ByThemba Hadebe

    Nov 21, 2023
    The Future of Quantum Computing Lies in Scalable Semiconductor-Based Hardware

    Quantum computing, with its potential to revolutionize various industries, is approaching the era of quantum advantage. As researchers and companies envision a future filled with powerful quantum computers, the focus has shifted towards scalability and practicality. Finland-based quantum startup SemiQon believes that the next phase of quantum computing will be achieved through the development of semiconductor-based quantum hardware.

    The Challenge of Scalability
    While first-generation quantum computers have made impressive strides in solving complex problems related to pharmaceuticals, logistics, and materials design, they have yet to achieve the desired “quantum advantage” over classical computers. To truly demonstrate the capabilities of quantum computers, they need to surpass the performance of their classical counterparts. This requires tackling the challenge of scalability.

    Integration with High-Performance Computing (HPC)
    The next milestone in quantum computing is the integration of quantum computers with high-performance computing (HPC) environments, commonly known as supercomputers. This integration will showcase the benefits of combining quantum and classical computing power. Subsequently, further advancements in quantum computing capacity will pave the way for scalable quantum computers.

    Reevaluating the Importance of Hardware
    While software has traditionally been considered more valuable than hardware in the world of classical computing, the strategic value of hardware should not be underestimated. The recent chip shortage has highlighted the risks of overreliance on external chip suppliers. In response, policymakers in Europe and the US are promoting local semiconductor industries to maintain control over the chip supply chain.

    The Role of Semiconductors in Quantum Computing
    SemiQon believes that semiconductor technology holds the key to overcoming the current limitations of quantum hardware. By utilizing silicon-based quantum chips, they aim to fabricate quantum processors in a cost-effective and scalable manner. This approach also allows quantum computers to operate at warmer temperatures, reducing energy consumption.

    SemiQon’s Quantum Technology
    SemiQon specializes in the development of silicon-based quantum processors, with a focus on affordability, scalability, and sustainability. Their scalable quantum processing units (QPUs) employ semiconductor quantum-dot qubits and cryogenic ultra-low dissipation CMOS hardware. By leveraging proprietary CMOS technology and devices with extremely low noise levels, SemiQon has made significant progress in the integration of on-chip quasi-dissipationless cryogenic multiplexers. The company works closely with various stakeholders in the quantum ecosystem and operates in cutting-edge manufacturing and characterization facilities in Finland.

    In conclusion, the future of quantum computing lies in the scalability and practicality of quantum hardware. By harnessing semiconductor technology, companies like SemiQon are paving the way for affordable, scalable, and sustainable quantum computers. As the quantum computing race intensifies, advancements in semiconductor-based quantum hardware will play a crucial role in shaping the quantum ecosystem.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    Q: What is quantum advantage?

    A: Quantum advantage refers to the point at which quantum computers can solve problems more efficiently than classical computers, demonstrating the true power of quantum computing.

    Q: What is scalability in quantum computing?

    A: Scalability in quantum computing refers to the ability to increase the number of qubits or quantum components in a quantum system without compromising its performance or stability.

    Q: How are quantum computers integrated with high-performance computing (HPC) environments?

    A: Integration of quantum computers with HPC environments involves combining the computational power of classical and quantum systems to leverage the benefits of both technologies.

    Q: What are semiconductor quantum-dot qubits?

    A: Semiconductor quantum-dot qubits are tiny structures within a semiconductor material that can trap and manipulate individual quantum bits, or qubits, which are the basic units of information in a quantum system.

    Q: How can semiconductor-based quantum hardware contribute to sustainability?

    A: Semiconductor-based quantum hardware allows for more energy-efficient quantum computing by operating at warmer temperatures, thereby reducing energy consumption compared to alternative solutions.