We propose a universal, on-chip quantum transducer based on surface acoustic waves in piezo-active materials. Because of the intrinsic piezoelectric (and/or magnetostrictive) properties of the material, our approach provides a universal platform capable of coherently linking a broad array of qubits, including quantum dots, trapped ions, nitrogen-vacancy centers or superconducting qubits. The quantized modes of surface acoustic waves lie in the gigahertz range, can be strongly confined close to the surface in phononic cavities and guided in acoustic waveguides. We show that this type of surface acoustic excitations can be utilized efficiently as a quantum bus, serving as an on-chip, mechanical cavity-QED equivalent of microwave photons and enabling long-range coupling of a wide range of qubits.
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