The world’s first calculation using two quantum bits in silicon has been demonstrated by a team of engineers at UNSW Australia. The manufacturing techniques used are the same as those employed in today’s silicon chip FAB sector, opening the way to ultra-powerful quantum computers.
A classical computer has a memory made up of bits, where each bit represents either a one or a zero. A quantum computer. by contrast, maintains a sequence of qubits.
A single qubit can represent a one, a zero, or any quantum superposition of those two qubit states; a pair of qubits can be in any quantum superposition of 4 states, and three qubits in any superposition of 8 states.
A quantum computer then operates by setting the qubits in a controlled initial state that represents the problem at hand and by manipulating those qubits with a fixed sequence of quantum logic gates. The sequence of gates to be applied is called a quantum algorithm.