NSW-based quantum computing firm, Silicon Quantum Computing (SQC), has today announced the world’s first integrated circuit manufactured at the atomic scale.

Minister for Science, Innovation and Technology Alister Henskens said the milestone confirms NSW’s position at the forefront of international quantum research.

“This breakthrough moves us one step closer to SQC’s goal of building a commercial-scale quantum computer and bringing quantum computing to market,” Mr Henskens said.

“Our 20-Year R&D Roadmap recently identified our world class quantum ecosystem as a competitive advantage and we want to help NSW flourish in this area to create new jobs, industries and economic prosperity for generations to come.”

The NSW Government has been a long-term supporter of teams led by Professor Michelle Simmons AO, both at the Centre of Excellence in Quantum Computing and Communication Technology at UNSW Sydney since 2007, and at SQC since 2017 as a shareholding investor.

NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte said the development of the world’s first quantum integrated circuit at the atomic scale allowed it to be operated as an analogue quantum processor to simulate an actual molecule.

“The ability to simulate matter at the atomic scale allows us to start understanding how nature and the physical world really work. This could lead to major breakthroughs in solving many of the world’s problems,” Professor Durrant-Whyte said.

SQC founder Professor Simmons said it won’t be long before we can start to realise new materials that have never existed before.

“The development of SQC’s atomic-scale circuit technology will allow the company and its customers to construct quantum models for a range of new materials, whether they be pharmaceuticals, materials for batteries or catalysts,” Professor Simmons said.

The recent NSW Budget delivered an unprecedented $832.7 million investment in scientific research, innovation and technological development.

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