The device that you can see on the cover of this article looks like a printer, but it is not. Quantum computers are full of flex. Very unique. It is made in China by the company SpinQ and is compact enough to be easily moved from one place to another. In fact, it weighs 14 kg and measures 35 x 26 x 20 cm. It is clear that if we stick to physical characteristics, it has absolutely nothing to do with the quantum computers that IBM, Honeywell, Intel or Google have developed.
However, like the company’s later machines, it works with qubits. Otherwise we could not consider the real quantum computer. Of course, its two qubits are not superconducting, nor do they use traps like the manipulators I mentioned in the previous paragraph; they are quantum NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance), so their operating principle is different from that of the quantum hardware in which we usually investigate.
His project is based on the possibility of measuring the web states of certain atoms of a molecule using nuclear magnetic techniques (spin is an intrinsic property of elementary particles, like an electric charge, led by an angular momentum of rotation). This operating system has allowed SpinQ to develop simple and inexpensive probes that are capable of operating relatively correctly in poor environmental conditions.
Two qubits are enough to do something
In fact, the technology this Chinese company used to build its NMR quantum computer is not new. It is a mature technique that has been known for more than two decades, which was used in 2001 as a numerical algorithm that allowed the first Shor factorization to be carried out. Of course, these bits have a bigger problem: they are very sensitive to noise. For this reason, quantum processes with many qubits cannot interfere with each other.
Two issues of the Gemini Mini Pro tool are enough to train students in programming quantum systems
In an interview we had with him in June 2021, the Spanish scientist Ignacio Cirac, who was one of the Fathers of quantum computing, explained to us that most experts argue that a hundred thousand qubits or more will be necessary to solve problems. NMR technology is useless for the precision of such complex machines, and at this point the only two qubits in the Gemini Mini Pro, which this machine is called SpinQ, are very rare.
We can be sure of one thing: two qubits cannot carry out advanced research. They are insufficient to challenge significant issues. However, academically they serve to train students in quantum systems, a discipline that has immense potential and is being assimilated into their careers by a growing number of universities. In addition, according to SpinQ, the Gemini Mini Pro can be used with its equipment to perform basic research.
Be that as it may, the price of computers with NMR technology from this Chinese company has the biggest factor in their favor: they are cheap. The most modest version of the Gemini Mini Pro costs more than 8,000 European coins, and the Triangle, the most advanced of these compact quantum computers, which has three qubits, costs about 56,000 coins. Yes, this is a lot of money for the average user, but not for an educational institution that plans to train its students in a quantitative computing environment.
Top image: SpinQ
More information: SpinQ
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