(NSF.gov) The NSF has awarded the University of Maryland, College Park, MD $5,000,000 for the Quantum Networks to Connect Quantum Technology (QuanNeCQT)
The QuaNeCQT project (Quantum Networks to Connect Quantum Technology) aims to create quantum interconnects that can connect quantum computers that are physically located several kilometers apart.
These interconnects enable users to leverage the vast existing infrastructure that is our current Internet to develop the next generation quantum internet. Our solution is composed of two hardware modules, the quantum frequency conversion (qFC) module and the quantum reconfigurable add-drop multiplexer (qROADM) module. The qFC converts photons from a quantum computer to provisioned telecom wavelength channels while preserving the entanglement with the internal quantum memory of the quantum computer. The qROADM controls the flow of network traffic using an integrated photonic circuit and performs entanglement swapping. Both modules fully integrate quantum functionalities with all required classical communication (fiber polarization stabilization, laser frequency locking, clock distribution etc…). The qFC and qROADM modules provide a universal networking solution that can be readily adapted to virtually any quantum computer architecture. The Phase II program will focus on the specific use-case of ion trap quantum computers, which are some of the most scalable quantum computers currently available.
The broader impacts of this project will include causing a significant increase in the user base for quantum computers by providing secure access to end users as well as certification of the legitimacy of the quantum computation. As quantum technology converges with the Internet, a new technology sector would emerge bringing with it the potential for major economic growth by producing rapid technological innovation and creating a large number of new jobs for the future “quantum workforce,” just as the emergence of the Internet did towards the late 20th century. The program will also entail an outreach effort to develop educational modules for the general public and industry that will educate them on the current state and future potential of quantum technology.