Quantum Bayesian Networks

September 30, 2010

Enough QC Hardware Approaches To Titillate, Confuse and Annoy

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 8:28 pm

Quantum Computing has appeared frequently in the news this year. And deservedly so, because it is making steady progress. On Feb.17, I posted an entry titled “Experimental Quantum Computing, State of the Art”, where I discussed an excellent review article of QC hardware written by Franco Nori and his team. Now, 8 months later, that review article is already seriously out of date.

I just counted how many stories NextBigFuture has had since the beginning of the year under the subject of “quantum computer”:


34 stories from Jan 1 to Oct 1. All in all, a pretty exciting year if you ask me. Many of those stories are not earth-shaking events, but some are. For instance, measuring the spin state of a single electron (the electron belongs to a donor Phosphorus atom implanted in a Silicon crystal). Wow!

The public might be understandably confused. What hardware approach will win the race for a scalable quantum computer. Is it going to be ???

  1. an ion trap quantum computer (NIST),
  2. or a superconductive device that implements an adiabatic QC à la D-Wave,
  3. or a superconductive device that implements the gate model (Yale and UCSB)
  4. or an array of donors implanted in Silicon by the Australians and Finns,
  5. or NV color centers in diamond,
  6. or a photonic QC by the Brits,
  7. or Rydberg atoms
  8. or an anyonic QC

I probably left out a few.

Makes me glad I specialize in writing quantum computing software, which is somewhat platform independent, so I don’t have to guess which of all these wonderful approaches will win out.



  1. How ’bout topological quantum computing?

    Comment by Matt — October 1, 2010 @ 2:21 pm

  2. Hi Matt,
    The term “topological QC” is somewhat ambiguous, IMHO. It often means what I called an anyonic QC in my blog post above. An anyonic QC is what the Microsoft StationQ people study and hope to build. It uses non-abelian anyons which are described by a “topological quantum field theory”. The term topological quantum computer also evokes in my mind a QC that uses topological phases to reduce noise, as in the following paper by a group working at Aalto (near Helsinki, Finland):

    Ground-state geometric quantum computation in superconducting systems
    by P. Solinas, J.-M. Pirkkalainen, M. Möttönen
    This Aalto proposal is super exciting, and promising, at least to my mind. Not tested in the lab yet, however. If I were the head of Nokia, I would rush to invest venture capital into that Aalto QC concept.

    Comment by rrtucci — October 1, 2010 @ 6:19 pm

  3. AH. Got ya.
    I will give that paper a read. It sounds interesting.

    Comment by Matt — October 1, 2010 @ 9:04 pm

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