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Quantum New Briefs September 27: PASQAL and Qubit Pharmaceuticals join with Unitary Fund to in Wellcome Trust’s ‘Quantum for Bio’ Program; Infleqtion secures Q-CALC Project to advance defense data analysis with quantum computing; Can cloud-based quantum computing really offer a quantum advantage? + MORE

Quantum News Briefs looks at news in the quantum industry.
By Sandra Helsel posted 27 Sep 2023

Quantum News Briefs September 27:

PASQAL and Qubit Pharmaceuticals join with Unitary Fund to in Wellcome Trust’s ‘Quantum for Bio’ Program

PASQAL, a leader neutral atoms quantum computing, and Qubit Pharmaceuticals, a deep-tech company specializing in drug discovery through simulation and molecular modeling accelerated by hybrid HPC and quantum computing, announce that they are among the 12 selected performers for the Quantum for Bio program in consortium with Unitary Fund, the leading open-source non-profit in quantum technologies.
Launched in spring 2023 by Wellcome Leap, an offshoot of the Wellcome Trust, Quantum for Bio aims to accelerate the use of quantum computing in healthcare by developing applications that will benefit from the arrival of quantum computers within 3-5 years.
Pasqal and Qubit Pharmaceuticals are the only French consortium to be awarded a prize in this global call for projects. Together with the Unitary Fund, they will receive $4.5 million of the total $40 million awarded through the various milestones under the Quantum for Bio program. Among the 12 selected performers honored by Wellcome Leap are NASA and the universities of Harvard, Cambridge, Copenhagen and Sydney.
The goal of the project is to design a new quantum algorithm that will accelerate the discovery of drugs based on small chemical molecules, and to implement it on PASQAL’s neutral atom quantum computer. Planned to last 30months, the project comprises three milestone phases for the funding allocation. During the first one-year phase, starting in September 2023, PASQAL and Qubit Pharmaceuticals will combine their expertise to design the new algorithm aimed at correctly predicting the reactivity of proteins in the presence of an aqueous environment.
For its part, the Unitary Fund will introduce software optimizations and error mitigation compilation, and carry out a comparative study of the algorithm’s performance on PASQAL’s analogue quantum machines versus digital machines. This phase will be followed by numerical tests and, finally, by the implementation of the algorithm on PASQAL’s quantum computers in 2025. Click here to read complete announcement on PASQAL’s site.

Infleqtion secures Q-CALC Project to advance defense data analysis with quantum computing

Infleqtion has announced the Company’s successful bid for Q-CALC (Quantum Contextual Artificial Intelligence for Long-range Correlations). Quantum News Briefs summarizes.
Q-CALC represents a bold initiative at the intersection of quantum computing and artificial intelligence, with the goal of advancing the capabilities of AI and machine learning systems in handling datasets with complex correlations.
This project, supported by Innovate UK, promises to advance data analysis within the defense industry. Infleqtion will partner with QinetiQ, a leading defense company, on the project.
Q-CALC will provide the UK with a powerful sovereign capability in quantum machine learning that has a clear line-of-sight to improved prediction and decision-making for defense applications. During US trade delegation meetings in July, Infleqtion announced the expansion of its quantum software presence to the UK, alongside the launch of QECCO, an award for quantum optimization.
The AI/ML market has grown rapidly in the past few years, significantly accelerating in the past few months. However, there are significant scaling challenges on the horizon. While the GPT-3 model took at least $4.6M to train, the GPT-4 model required over $100M. The scaling in training and runtime costs will become even more untenable for future models because the transformer technology underpinning GPT has costs that scale quadratically. This is both a barrier to progress in classical AI/ML as well as an exciting commercial opportunity for Q-CALC, which will enable longer context windows.
The project draws on experts in quantum software, algorithmic implementation, and benchmarking, harnessing the capabilities of Infleqtion’s Superstaq platform for enhanced solution quality on both real quantum hardware and advanced simulators.
Roger McKinlay, challenge director of Quantum Technologies at Innovate UK, said: “This is a great example of how our funding attracts talent, private investment, new collaborations, and creative ideas with real commercial potential. This is an exciting addition to the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme.”  Click here to read the announcement in-entirety.

Can cloud-based quantum computing really offer a quantum advantage?

Jiheon Seong and Joonwoo Bae of the Korea Advanced Institute of science and Technology developed and tested an entanglement witness circuit. It works to certify entanglement even when the cloud-based service allows only limited control of the machine. Quantum News Briefs summarizes September 22 article in Phys.org
Researchers want to build circuits that generate entanglement among qubits. However, until they use a circuit, they do not know whether it is an entanglement-generating circuit or not. A costly procedure called quantum tomography can be performed, or the researcher can use an entanglement witness. The entanglement witness is a mathematical function relating two specific qubits and their states. The value of its output signals whether the states of the qubits are entangled or separable.
Unfortunately, it is not always possible to use an entanglement witness without to the quantum machine. In a lab setting, and in the IBMQ cloud-based quantum computing service, a researcher can choose which of the machine’s hardware qubits to allocate to a circuit.
A researcher’s only input to the IBMQ and IonQ cloud services is a quantum circuit. To address this limitation, Seong and Bae designed special entanglement witness circuits that use the entanglement witness strategy for certifying the presence of entangled qubits. Researchers can use these circuits to detect entanglement using only the measurement statistics output by the service.
The new entanglement witness circuits are built on a recently developed framework called EW 2.0, which is twice as efficient at detecting entanglement.
Seong and Bae describe entanglement detection for two- and three- entanglement-generating circuits, outline two schemes for constructing entanglement witness circuits for entanglement-generating and share results of experiments using the IBMQ and IonQ cloud-based quantum computing services. Click here to read complete article in Phys.org

Canada’s NRC-developed quantum sensors advance simulation software

Quantum simulators are radically different from traditional computer simulators because they take into account nanoscale interactions of quantum systems that behave in unexpected ways. Quantum simulation software predicts that behaviour, helping researchers understand and consider those differences at the design stage before sensors are fabricated in the lab. Until now, a comprehensive quantum simulation method for solid-state systems has eluded developers.
A small Canadian company, Nanoacademic Technologies Inc., has tackled this challenge with an effective new method: solid-state quantum device simulation. This method can model semiconductor-based quantum device properties over a unique spectrum of features while being agnostic about the geometry and considered materials.
With the help of the quantum research team at the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and contribution funding from the Collaborative Science Technology and Innovation Program, Nanoacademic enhanced its software code and has taken the product from the lab to the market much more quickly than originally anticipated.
Nanoacademic’s Quantum Technology Computer-Aided Design (QTCAD) calculates a variety of properties in almost any geometries of semiconductor-based spin-qubit devices. In addition to electron simulation, a new feature simulates quasiparticles such as holes. These offer remarkable physical insights into elements that may not even exist by modeling technological advantages specifically for hole-based quantum devices. Click here to read the original article on a Government of Canada’s website.

Sandra K. Helsel, Ph.D. has been researching and reporting on frontier technologies since 1990.  She has her Ph.D. from the University of Arizona.

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