Using microwave beams could let quantum computers be small but mighty

Q1: Photograph of the silicon quantum circuit being connected to a circuit board in preparation for measurement. (credit: Serwan Asaad)

A silicon quantum circuit being connected to a circuit board

Serwan Asaad

Quantum computers tend to be labyrinthine machines the size of a fridge with large tangles of control and cooling systems. This complexity is a huge hurdle to scaling up processor power to tackle harder problems. But researchers have finally proved that a decades-old theory to simplify silicon quantum processors can work, potentially paving the way for vastly more powerful devices.

Most current quantum computers require a control wire for every qubit on a processor, which is used to change the …

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