Instead of typical computer "bits" that can represent either the value "0" or "1", quantum computers use "qubits" (short for quantum bits) that are capable of representing either "1" or "0", or both at the same time.

If the industrial blueprint works, it could see the first super-fast quantum machine being built within a decade at a cost of tens of millions of pounds.

The new blueprint is the work of an global team of scientists from the University of Sussex (UK), Google (USA), Aarhus University (Denmark), RIKEN (Japan) and Siegen University (Germany). The team's blueprint features an innovative design that allows actual qubits to be transmitted between individual quantum computing modules.

Professor Winfried Hensinger, head of Ion Quantum Technology at Sussex Uni, said: "For many years, people said that it was completely impossible to construct an actual quantum computer".

The computer's possibilities for solving, explaining or developing could be endless.

Prototype of the core of a trapped ion quantum computer.

Details of design are described in a paper published in the journal Science Advances, and is freely accessible to other researchers and the public at large.

But the innovation introduces connections created by electric fields, which facilitate the transport of ions (charged atoms) from one module to another, reports the note.

This would allow a computer scientist build a fully modular large scale machine capable of reaching large computational processing powers.

In the past, scientists had proposed using fiber optic connections to link individual computer modules to obtain efficient computing powers.

"With our work, we have not only shown that it can be done but now we are delivering nuts and bolts construction plan to build an actual large-scale machine", he added.

"It was most important to us to highlight the substantial technical challenges as well as to provide practical engineering solutions", said lead author Dr Bjoern Lekitsch, also from the University of Sussex. Hensinger said, "Yes [a quantum computer] will be big, yes it will be expensive - but it absolutely can be built right now".

The main issue that they had is that quantum computer requires lasers to be precisely focused on every individual atom, that means that the larger the machine, more lasers will be necessary making the margin of error bigger. "I am very excited to work with industry and government to make this happen". They are likely to take up entire buildings, not just space on an office desk.

A prototype is the next phase, and although the funding the team has received from the United Kingdom government is aimed at promoting quantum computing in the industrial sector, the ramifications of a working, full-speed machine could potentially be felt across humankind.

Dubbed "the holy grail of science", quantum computing has long featured on the scientific community's agenda.


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