After briefly talking about Quantum Computing in our blog “Quantum Computing: The future of lightning-fast, atom-scale computers that will change the world”. Many of you may wonder, what do Quantum Computers look like? How does hardware run on Quantum Computers and how is it different from today’s PC? Today, we will give you a glimpse of the Quantum Computer and get to know the mechanism a little better.
What makes up the Quantum Computer?
The Quantum Computer today looks a lot like the computer storage several decades ago. It is divided into 2 parts, one that transmits data which transmits exterior data and the Qubit processor that works like the CPU in computers and smartphones. However, their abilities are superior and require extra-special care.
The transmitter is designed for data input and output display just like in the computers we use today. Data that needs processing is transmitted via direct connecting wires to the Qubit chip. However, it is not placed in the same position as the Qubit chip as the electric wavelength of the output may disturb the Qubit.
The Qubit processor is protected from interferences as tiny as atom particles. The storage is made from telecommunication wave-proofing material. The Quantum Computer is a refrigerator designed to shield electromagnetic waves, installed with bright lights that will only light up when maintenance is required.
Inside the refrigerator, the Qubit processor is stored in a funnel attached to the ceiling and hung upside down. The funnel is made from several layers of radiation-protected materials and a separated cooling system inside the funnel. The system works to bring the room temperature down to 0.002 Kelvin, which is a temperature near absolute zero.
The cooling system is designed specially to embrace the processor chip. The cooling substance is liquid helium which is sealed in a tube for easy maintenance. When the cooling substance expires, only a new tube needs to be replaced without having to refill liquid helium which is hazardous to human.
Maintenance will begin by slowly allowing the temperature in the funnel to reach room temperature before the funnel is dismantled. The Qubit chip looks no different than the silicon processing chip we use today. The Quantum Computer system including the processor and cooling system uses around 25 kilowatts of power. When compared to today’s supercomputer which uses over a hundred kilowatts of power, energy usage is quite worthwhile with higher efficiency.
How fragile is the Qubit and why does it require extreme protection?
The atom-tiny Qubit processor will begin working to its full capacity when there is no interference, especially interferences that is similar to its size. This includes tiny waves that are not seen by the naked eye. A small interference and the Qubit will disperse. Each layer is designed to protect all these interferences as follow.
- The output unit is separated from the processor to prevent electric waves from interfering with the Qubit.
- The exterior storage prevents telecommunication wavelengths.
- The refrigerator controls the temperature making the cooling system inside the processing unit work to its full capacity.
- The case that embraces the processing unit prevents all sorts of radiation. The topmost is set at room temperature and gets cooler towards the ground until it is 3 times colder than interstellar space. At the tip, it is almost at absolute zero.
- The Qubit chip’s case is positioned at the tip of the processing unit. The temperature is set at 0.002 Kelvin. The Quantum will work best at the temperature nearest to absolute zero. As processing starts, the temperature will increase sharply. At the same time, such freezing condition will help transfer heat away from the system.
The future of Quantum Computer hardware
Quantum Computer development began in 2000. The first Qubit chip called the QPU (Quantum Processor Unit) has 4 Qubit. Today, there is a tendency that the QPU can support up to 10,000 Qubit. Considering this increasing trend, the innovation is advancing at great speed.
Development that will make Quantum Computer become consumer products may still be farfetched. This is because the basis of the design makes it difficult to relocate. However, the possibility for the system to be used to manage back-office systems may happen very soon.
We believe that everyone now has an idea about Quantum Computer and its limitations. Although the limitations make Quantum Computer less widespread for general users, we believe that developers will be able to use this technology to help solve existing problems. Digital Ventures will be sharing more updates about Quantum Computer, follow us here.