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Invention Can ‘Shield’ Quantum Computers From Magnetic Interference

magnetic shield

Insider Brief

  • Magnetic Shields Limited (MSL) has invented a lightweight and small-scale magnetic shielding system for cryogenic conditions.
  • The shield uses superconducting coils wrapped around a lightweight cylindrical core in a novel design devised at the University of Nottingham.
  • Among other applications, the invention could improve quantum computing performance and efficiency.

PRESS RELEASE — Magnetic Shields Limited (MSL) has invented a lightweight and small-scale magnetic shielding system for cryogenic conditions.

The innovation developed by UK-based MSL in collaboration with the University of Nottingham and quantum computer developer SEEQC will revolutionise quantum computing performance and efficiency. The coil shield also has implications for satellites, where payload weight determines launch costs.

The shield is the first to integrate thin metal coils into magnetic shielding to actively cancel out magnetic field interference in temperatures near absolute zero.  It eliminates the need for bulky metal housings.

The qubits – typically sub-atomic particles – that quantum computer platforms use for calculation mostly require extremely low temperatures. Qubits are also sensitive to outside disturbances, which cause faults and errors.

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The innovative shield uses superconducting coils wrapped around a lightweight cylindrical core in a novel design devised at the University of Nottingham School of Physics and Astronomy.

The coils are actively controlled to cancel magnetic noise.

MSL Director Dr Bartel van der Veek said:  “The coil-based system works in a way similar to noise cancelling headphones, measuring disturbances and creating equal or opposing fields electronically to neutralise them. For quantum computers, our invention means that qubit life can be extended in quantum states more efficiently. What we have successfully invented also has implications for many other technologies.”

The breakthrough is expected to help computer developers by shielding chips within processors from outside interference and protecting adjacent chips from interfering with each other.

Satellites, where the shield will also be transformative, need protection from the violent energy fields that exist in space, including magnetic field spikes and solar flares.

This currently requires encasing satellites in multiple heavy layers of metal, a significant weight burden, which the coils would reduce.

For more information about Magnetic Shields Limited and their cryogenic magnetic shielding system, visit https://www.magneticshields.co.uk

For more market insights, check out our latest quantum computing news here.

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Matt Swayne

With a several-decades long background in journalism and communications, Matt Swayne has worked as a science communicator for an R1 university for more than 12 years, specializing in translating high tech and deep tech for the general audience. He has served as a writer, editor and analyst at The Quantum Insider since its inception. In addition to his service as a science communicator, Matt also develops courses to improve the media and communications skills of scientists and has taught courses. [email protected]

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The Future of Materials Discovery: Reducing R&D Costs significantly with GenMat’s AI and Machine Learning Tools

When: July 13, 2023 at 11:30am

What: GenMat Webinar

Picture of Jake Vikoren

Jake Vikoren

Company Speaker

Picture of Deep Prasad

Deep Prasad

Company Speaker

Picture of Araceli Venegas

Araceli Venegas

Company Speaker

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