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Taiwan unveils 1st self-made 5-qubit quantum computer

Fidelity rate of quantum computer's logic gate reached 99.9%

Chen Chii-dong (left) consults with fellow researcher at Academia Sinica's quantum computing laboratory. (Academia Sinica photo)

Chen Chii-dong (left) consults with fellow researcher at Academia Sinica's quantum computing laboratory. (Academia Sinica photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Academia Sinica on Friday (Jan. 19) said that operations of the country's first domestically-built 5-qubit quantum computer have begun.

The institution said the quantum computer, which is based on 5-quantum-bit (qubit) chips, was completed in October. However, the machine was not formally connected to the internet to establish communications with project partners until last week.

Chen Chii-dong (陳啟東), a research fellow at Academia Sinica’s Research Center of Applied Sciences, said the project is part of the quantum technology project funded by the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC). He added that Academia Sinica has surpassed the originally approved research and development timeline set by the NSTC.

The institute was originally slated to complete a 3-qubit quantum computer by February, but it achieved the milestone of a 5-qubit quantum computer at the end of last year. The fidelity rate of the quantum computer's logic gate reached 99.9%, said Chen.

According to the U.S. Energy Department, the fidelity rate of quantum computing processors is a "measure of how close the final quantum state of the real-life qubits is to the ideal case."

Although there are continuous advancements in quantum computer technology, it is still some distance away from everyday life or commercial applications, said the institute.

The 5-qubit computer at the Academia Sinica is not only available to project collaborators for use in research and testing but also serves as a development platform for ultra-low temperature complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) and operational amplifier research projects.

Academia Sinica President James Liao (廖俊智) said that compared with other countries, the quantum computer team at Academia Sinica is able to make these achievements with a relatively lower budget and shorter timeframe, "which is quite remarkable."

Liao said that after patiently addressing foundational issues over a period of time, there can be breakthroughs in the next stage of applications.

Liao said he hoped "the small step" taken by Academia Sinica can drive the development of quantum research and related industries in Taiwan.

Thie quantum computing project is a collaboration involving Academia Sinica, the Industrial Technology Research Institute, National Applied Research Laboratories, National Changhua University of Education, National Central University, National Chung Hsin University, the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.