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ColdQuanta, Riverlane, U of W-Madison team up to achieve cold atom milestone

By Dan O'Shea posted 21 Apr 2022

ColdQuanta, Riverlane and the University of Wisconsin–Madison, have teamed up on what they claim is an “industry first,” the successful running of a quantum algorithm on a programmable gate-model cold atom qubit array system.

Codenamed “AQuA,” the project , which was conducted at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in the research group led by Prof. Mark Saffman, brings the industry a step closer to real-world commercial applications by providing greater scalability over previous gate-model quantum computers, the parties said. 

Cold atom hyperfine qubits are believed to be capable of improving gate-model coherence by providing inherent scalability due to their identical characteristics, long coherence times, and ability to be trapped in dense multi-dimensional arrays.

In the architecture used in the demonstration, individual atoms were addressed “with tightly focused optical beams scanned across a two-dimensional array of qubits,” a statement from the participants said, adding, “The team achieved the preparation of entangled Greenberger-Horne-Zeilinger (GHZ) states with up to 6 qubits, quantum phase estimation for a chemistry problem, and the Quantum Approximate Optimization Algorithm (QAOA) for the MaxCut graph problem. These results highlight the highly scalable capability of cold atom qubit arrays for universal, programmable quantum computation, as well as preparation of non-classical states of use for quantum enhanced sensing.”

Dr. Saffman called the cooperative effort “the first quantum computer using cold atoms with multiple qubits and running quantum algorithms, so it’s a significant step forward for the cold atom approach.”

ColdQuanta, which has been been championing a cold atom approach to quantum computing since its founding, will soon launch Hilbert, a 100-qubit scale computer that builds on this research, the Colorado-based company said. ColdQuanta and the University of Wisconsin previously worked together to achieve other cold atom milestones. Riverlane, meanwhile, contributed its expertise on quantum algorithms and orchestration to this latest project.

Dan has covered telecommunications and related topics including semiconductors, sensors, retail systems, digital payments and quantum computing/technology for over 25 years.

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