As reported by the Japanese PC Watch portal, the sale of mobile quantum computers by the Chinese company SpinQ Technology from Shenzhen has already started in the country. The company has already supplied its core quantum systems to educational institutions in China, Taiwan and Canada. The devices are designed to teach the principles of programming in quantum systems and contain just a few qubits. Now anyone can buy them.
The simplest two-kibit Gemini Mini system costs about $8,700. It is conventionally portable and equipped with a touch screen for full control of experiments. The weight of the device reaches 14 kg with dimensions of 200 × 350 × 260 mm. The power comes from a conventional power supply and the consumption does not exceed 60W. Built-in software allows you to simulate the operation of eight qubits.
The more powerful two-qubit Gemini system (consumes up to 100 W), with dimensions of 600 × 280 × 530 mm and a weight of 44 kg, is significantly more expensive – about 43 thousand dollars. It can also simulate operation in an eight-qubit mode, but it actually contains two physical qubits. What is the fundamental difference between the capabilities of the Gemini Mini and the Gemini is not reported.
Finally, $58,000 can buy you a three-qubit Triangulum system. It consumes 330 W and weighs 40 kg. The dimensions of the device body are 610 × 330 × 550 mm. Perhaps more qubit simulations are possible in Triangulum as well as Gemini.
The three innovations are not intended for participation in scientific experiments, they are educational tools. But these tools allow you to work with real qubits.
SpinQ Technology’s quantum systems are based on the long-discovered effect of nuclear magnetic resonance. This effect is manifested by a controlled change in the direction of the spins of individual atoms and the ability to detect such changes. As a working material, SpinQ Technology devices use dimethyl phosphite, which consists of a phosphorus atom, a hydrogen atom, oxygen and two CH3O groups.
At room temperature, dimethyl phosphite is a colorless liquid. First, to demonstrate the NMR effect, several drops of liquid were placed in a strong magnetic field created by superconducting magnets. Chinese engineers solved the problem simply: they used strong permanent magnets that generate a magnetic field with a strength of 1 Tesla. This made it possible to make the NMR effect counter very compact and, in fact, portable.
In the system, the phosphorus atom and the hydrogen atom serve as separate qubits, since the spins of each can interact independently, and their close location in the molecule allows us to consider them bound and exhibiting quantum properties. Despite the apparent simplicity of the device, this is a great educational tool and will fill its niche.