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Future Trends in Microelectronics: Up the Nano Creek by Alex Zaslavsky, Jimmy Xu, Serge Luryi

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Quantum Computation – Future of Microelectronics?

P. Hawrylak

Institute for Microstructural SciencesNational Research Council of Canada, Ottawa, K1A OR6 Ontario, Canada

1.   Introduction

Current silicon technology has steadily improved our ability to compute by increasing the number of bits and gates. Yet with the existing technology many problems are likely to remain unsolved: properties of quantum materials, multiscale problems inherent to nanoscience, drug design and discovery, hard mathematical problems such as factorization of prime numbers essential for security, to name a few. Quantum instead of classical computation has been suggested as a possible solution.1,2 We will attempt to present our perspective of how quantum computing might fit into microelectronics.

Quantum computation attempts to take advantage of the same property that makes some of the problems so difficult to solve – quantum-mechanical behavior of many-particle systems. In quantum mechanics the state of the system, e.g. composed of a number of electrons and nuclei, is described by a superposition of electronic configurations. Imagine such electronic configuration, |1,1,0,0,1,0,0,1,0,1,0,0Image, where Ne = 5 electrons are distributed on Ns = 12 possible states. Here the states could be atomic orbitals of the quantum material, but we can think of them equally well as “quantum registers”, where “0” means empty and ...

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