Quantum computing takes leap forward


By Kurtis Eichler

Archer Materials has been granted a key Australian patent for its 12CQ quantum computing technology.

The patenting approval signals a step forward for the Adelaide-based company in the race towards the world-first technology being used in every day products, such as smart phones.

The tech company, which has an office in Adelaide’s Lot Fourteen innovation district, announced this month it now has commercial rights to its 12CQ chip invention.

Archer Materials chief executive officer Dr Mohammad Choucair said that once fully developed, it’s hoped the ultra-powerful 12CQ chip will be able to operate at room-temperature and integrated into everyday electronic devices.

“The patent protects a potential pathway and a proposed qubit processor chip to realise practical forms of computing,” Choucair said.

“Australia is a very important country when it comes to quantum computing and you’d be surprised how many Australians there are leading the way around the world and here in Australia we are at the forefront of quantum computing and quantum technology.

“So, having our patents approved here in Australia is something that’s very important for us and something that’s very significant for us.”

The classic computer use “bits” to process information with each “bit” valued at either zero or one.

However, a quantum bit, or a qubit, can represent these values simultaneously to run machines faster.

While still early days, the CSIRO says the emerging technology could create more than 16,000 jobs and have an annual turnover of $4 billion annually by 2040.

Archer Materials now has chip-related patents in the United States, China, South Korea, Japan and Europe.

Archer CEO and co-inventor of the ¹²CQ chip technology Dr Mohammad Choucair (left) 
and Quantum Technology Manager Dr Martin Fuechsle.

Choucair said he expected large-scale adoption of quantum computing by about 2030 based on the “road maps of a couple of the industry’s major players”.

There’s not just potential for the technology to be rolled out for day-to-day use but also in sectors such as defence.

“Quantum computing has the ability to give countries a competitive advantage,” Choucair said.

“It’s something that can provide nations a competitive advantage because it can potentially impact all sectors that are dependent on an increase in computation power.

“What we are seeing today is the start of what the future of computing could fundamentally look like. It will be most likely built on more classical computing which requires digital bits and the marriage of physics and quantum information theory and the development of a cubit.”

The company, which also has an office in Sydney, is developing biochip technology in its prototype foundry.

The lab-on-a-chip device could analyse biological specimens to help detect deadly infectious diseases.

Choucair said this ground-breaking technology could help rethink the way biological information is handled.

“With the most powerful supercomputers in the world today, about a third of their time I believe is spent analysing biological molecules,” he said.

“When you start to talk about digitising biological information using devices and sensors that are integrated onto a chip, it represents a shift.

“It’s really cutting-edge technology that’s being developed.”

This article originally appeared at The Lead South Australia.

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