Quantum Computing

Diraq is going to make a hybrid chip combining quantum and classical processors

- June 14, 2024 2 MIN READ
Andrew Dzurak
Sydney quantum startup Diraq is teaming up with a European R&D consortium to build a computer chip that combines the power of qubits with traditional transistors.

The plan comes as Diraq, which was spun out of UNSW two years ago and focused on being able to incorporate millions of quantum bits (qubits) on a standard computer chips, announced its qubits manufactured by Belgian nanoelectronics manufacture imec, set a record for control accuracy of 99.9%.

That means they have the level of precision needed for full-scale, error-corrected quantum computer processors manufactured by existing silicon chip foundries using CMOS materials on a silicon wafer.

CMOS (or complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor, pronounced ‘see-moss’) is the fabrication process at the heart of modern computers. It is used for making all sorts of integrated circuit components – including microprocessors, microcontrollers, memory chips and other digital logic circuits.

Because of their extremely small size, comparable to modern transistors, silicon CMOS qubits offer the prospect of many millions of qubits integrated on one chip with a similar number of conventional transistors.

Founder and CEO Professor Andrew Dzurak said Diraq has designed chips that will be manufactured this year by GlobalFoundries, which integrate silicon qubit devices with standard transistors. That combination will be important to push qubit numbers on a chip to the million mark and beyond, which Dzurak sees as the benchmark for useful quantum computing.

“Commercially viable quantum computing capable of revolutionary applications, including the design of targeted pharmaceuticals and advanced materials, must employ quantum error correction processes that will require many millions of qubits,” he said.

“Our roadmap to develop quantum processor chips on this scale leverages existing semiconductor foundry capabilities which have benefited from over 60 years of development and trillions of dollars of investment.”

Dzurak, a Professor in Quantum Engineering at UNSW,  led the team that built the first quantum logic gate in silicon in 2015 and the new mechanisms they’ve developed are the result of more than two decades of research.

While the federal government is betting big on Californian startup PsiQuantum giving Australia and the world its first quantum computer, Diraq is also at the front of the pack, at a fraction of the cost, having most recently $23 million in a Series A exention four months ago, following on from US$20 million banked when it was spun out of UNSW Sydney in 2022.

NOW READ: Diraq founder Andrew Dzurak explains the incredible breakthough his quantum computing startup just made

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