Surpassing the lower limit on computing energy consumption

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IMAGE: The postage-stamp sized chip at the heart of an iPhone 5 has around one billion transistors. view more  Credit: Errol Hunt (FLEET) New FLEET research confirms the potential for topological materials to substantially reduce the energy consumed by computing. The collaboration of FLEET researchers from University of Wollongong, Monash University and UNSW have shown in a theoretical study that using topological insulators rather than conventional semiconductors to make transistors could reduce the gate voltage by half, and the energy used by each transistor by a factor of four. To accomplish this, they had to find a way to overcome the famous 'Boltzmann's tyranny' that puts a lower limit on transistor switching energy. They found a surprising result: gate voltage applied to a topological insulator could create a...

Quantum systems learn joint computing

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IMAGE: This picture shows the two qubit modules (red atom between two blue mirrors) that have been interconnected to implement a basic quantum computation (depicted as light blue symbol) over a... view more  Credit: Stephan Welte, Severin Daiss (MPQ) Today's quantum computers contain up to several dozen memory and processing units, the so-called qubits. Severin Daiss, Stefan Langenfeld, and colleagues from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics in Garching have successfully interconnected two such qubits located in different labs to a distributed quantum computer by linking the qubits with a 60-meter-long optical fiber. Over such a distance they realized a quantum-logic gate - the basic building block of a quantum computer. It makes the system the worldwide first prototype of a distributed quantum computer. The limitations...