A quantum detector developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Caltech were able to calculate quantum data at a record rate of 1.5 billion photons per second.

The Performance-enhanced arrays for computing optical quanta detectors Quantum computers show promise in their ability to exchange large amounts of data over long distances, NASA said Friday.

The detector was developed with the aim of creating a dedicated communication network to overcome the distance barrier between supercomputers. According to the study, the network could consist of nodes that generate pairs of entangled photons to relay data hundreds or thousands of miles away on the ground.

PEACOQ is only 13 microns wide and is composed of 32 niobium nitride superconducting nanowires, each 10,000 times thinner than a human hair. The device is kept at a cryogenic temperature of minus 458 degrees Fahrenheit to maintain the nanowire’s superconducting state.

“Transmitting quantum information over long distances has been very limited so far,” said PEACOQ project team member Iona Chrysiu. “In the near term, PEACOQ will be used in lab experiments to demonstrate quantum communication at high rates or over long distances. In the long term, it may answer the question of how we transmit quantum data around the world.”

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