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Technologies for Quantum Networks

quantum network illustration
Figure 1. Different material systems may be required to implement a quantum network. QS = Quantum switch; QR =Quantum repeater (a device that can relay an entangled state from one set of qubits to a distant set without physically sending an entangled qubit the entire distance); QMod = Modular quantum processor; QFC = Quantum frequency converter; RNG = Random number generator. The quantum interconnects are indicated by bold red arrows or by wave packets representing photons. Source: Development of Quantum Interconnects (QuICs) for Next-Generation Information Technologies, David Awschalom et al. PRX Quantum 2, 017002 – Published 24 February 2021
Credit: American Physical Society

Ideally, quantum nodes at very large distances and possibly across the world need to be connected. Current technologies cannot support this goal.  At present, based on proof-of-principle experiments, many material platforms capable of processing quantum information have been developed, with no clear “champion technology.”  Some physical qubits appear best for storing quantum information, while others are best for manipulating and exchanging quantum information. Modular quantum systems in which different physical qubits are used for different purposes will likely be necessary to develop a scalable quantum network. The long-term viability of quantum networks hinges on technological advances that reliably link quantum devices together at a large scale.

Created February 1, 2022, Updated April 12, 2022