‘Electron-spin’ trick boosts quantum computing

From New Scientist:

Dn97681_250A new silicon chip capable of manipulating the spin of a single electron could ultimately allow futuristic quantum computers to be built using conventional electronic technology, researchers say.

A quantum bit, or “qubit”, is analogous the bits used in conventional computers. But, instead of simply switching between two states, representing “0” and “1”, quantum physics permits a qubit to exist in more than one state simultaneously, until its state is measured.

This means quantum computers can essentially perform multiple calculations at once, giving them the potential to be exponentially more powerful than conventional computers.

Researchers have previously developed rudimentary quantum computers by exploiting exotic phenomena to generate qubits. Two of the most sophisticated methods involve using ions trapped in magnetic fields and electrons in superconducting circuits. However, both approaches are far more complicated than making the chips that power conventional computers.

More here.