The quantum computers that will equip our offices in the coming years will be able to store a phenomenal amount of data, with the help of an original hosting system: the diamond!
For several years, researchers around the world have been very interested in the properties of diamond for data storage in quantum computers. The Japanese company Namiki Precision Jewel has developed, with the help of Saga University, a 5.5 cm diamond capable of hosting the equivalent of a billion Blu-ray discs, which represents 25 exabytes, or 25 billion gigabytes!
Diamonds as a hard drive
According to Namiki, this is equivalent to all mobile data distributed worldwide in a single day. Something to be comfortable on a daily basis… Using diamonds to store data is the method of choice in quantum computers. Their structure indeed contains a defect, the nitrogen-vacancy center (or “NV”), in which the data can be accommodated.
These data are not classical 0 or 1 bits. Quantum computing is organized around qubits which can be both 0 and 1. It is up to the computer to organize them according to its needs. Their storage is made possible by magnetic traps which will suck up positive ions.
The researchers explain that “ the NV center consists of a nitrogen atom and a corresponding vacancy in the diamond lattice “. The NV center would form a tiny magnetic force and ” function as a quantum memory at the atomic level “. However, things are not so easy (already they are hardly so when we talk about quantum…): too much nitrogen can degrade the storage properties of the diamond.
The diamond must therefore be large enough and very pure to fulfill its task of storing quantum bits. The one made by Namiki (called Kenzan Diamond) offers these features: 5.5 cm tall, it is a “slice” of diamond that could be marketed next year. The researchers are already working on a model twice as large.