Inside Quantum Technology

Quantum News Briefs August 22: Trio of US agencies urge organizations to develop “roadmap” for quantum computers & publish “Quantum Factsheet”; D-Wave announces increased performance of newest Quantum Hybrid Solver available in Leap real-time Quantum Cloud Service, How to protect critical infrastructure in the quantum-computing era, Physicists use vibrations to prevent information loss in quantum computing + MORE

Quantum News Briefs looks at news in the quantum industry.

Quantum News Briefs is a news series that looks at news in the quantum computing industry.

Quantum News Briefs August 22:

Trio of US agencies urge organizations to develop “roadmap” for quantum computers & publish “Quantum Factsheet”

A trio of government agencies on Monday urged organizations to prepare now for quantum computers’ ability to break through encryption, telling them to develop a “road map” for a future that grows near, according to this morning’s Washington Post in an article with analysis by Tim Starks and research by David DiMolfetta
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the National Security Agency, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology published a quantum “factsheet” on Monday, August 22.

The fact sheet includes several recommendations:

  • Organizations should develop an inventory of quantum-vulnerable technology.
  • They should begin discussions on a road map with their technology vendors.
  • Relatedly, they should examine their supply chains for ways they might depend on quantum-vulnerable technology.
  • Vendors, meanwhile, should start planning for testing and integration.

“Early planning is necessary as cyber threat actors could be targeting data today that would still require protection in the future (or in other words, has a long secrecy lifetime), using a catch now, break later or harvest now, decrypt later operation,” the fact sheet reads.

The Biden administration wants a complete transition for agencies to post-quantum cryptography by 2035. Click here to read the August 22 Washington Post article in-entirety.

D-Wave announces increased performance of newest Quantum Hybrid Solver available in Leap real-time Quantum Cloud Service


D-Wave Quantum Inc. today announced an update to its Constrained Quadratic Model (CQM) hybrid solver in its Leap™ quantum cloud service. D-Wave has introduced algorithmic updates to its CQM solver that deliver increased performance for existing binary problem classes, which can include offer allocation, portfolio optimization, and satisfiability.
Optimization problems are ubiquitous in today’s enterprise, and current quantum-hybrid technologies can help developers tackle these quadratic problems to find better solutions. To benchmark the performance enhancements made to the updated hybrid solver, D-Wave tested 2,045 binary quadratic problems, with the new CQM solver winning 80% of the problems, compared to 71.1% and 62.6% of previous versions. To learn more about the CQM hybrid solver and its most recent performance results, the technical report is available here.
“Our mission at D-Wave is to unlock the power of practical quantum computing for our customers,” said Trevor Lanting, vice president of software, algorithms and cloud services at D-Wave. “These most recent updates to our CQM hybrid solver reflect our commitment to building solutions that bring real enterprise applicability and impact today. We’re excited by the performance enhancements that we are seeing, and our rapid pace of innovation allows us to expand quantum-hybrid workflows to help solve increasingly complex problems.”
The CQM solver was first made available in October 2021. It incorporates problem constraints, allowing users to benefit from a simplified expression of their constrained problems, significantly expanding the size and complexity of problems customers can solve with constraints in D-Wave’s hybrid solver to find the best answers to complex business problems.

How to protect critical infrastructure in the quantum-computing era

Unique issues are involved in cybersecurity for critical infrastructure (CI) such as petroleum pipelines, power stations, electric utilities, water treatment plants, dams, ports, and mass transport systems. Quantum News Briefs summarizes and August 21 article in Federal times by

Physicists use vibrations to prevent information loss in quantum computing

The tiniest vibrations creeping in from the outside world can cause a quantum system to lose information. Quantum News Briefs summarizes August 21 SciTech article discussing the use of vibrations to stop information loss.
For instance, even light can cause information leaks if it has enough energy to jiggle the atoms within a quantum processor chip.
“Everyone is really excited about building quantum computers to answer really hard and important questions,” said Joe Kitzman, a doctoral student at Michigan State University. “But vibrational excitations can really mess up a quantum processor.”
However, with new research published in the journal Nature Communications, Kitzman and his colleagues are showing that these vibrations need not be a hindrance. In fact, they could benefit quantum technology.
“If we can understand how the vibrations couple with our system, we can use that as a resource and a tool for creating and stabilizing some types of quantum states,” Kitzman said. What that means is that researchers can use these results to help mitigate information lost by quantum bits, or qubits (pronounced “q bits”).
Johannes Pollanen, the Jerry Cowen Endowed Chair of Physics in the MSU Department of Physics and Astronomy. “It’s almost like junk you don’t want to deal with, but you can learn all kinds of cool stuff about the quantum world when you do.”
Pollanen also leads the Laboratory for Hybrid Quantum Systems, of which Kitzman is a member, in the College of Natural Science. For the experiments led by Pollanen and Kitzman, the team built a system consisting of a superconducting qubit and what are known as surface acoustic wave resonators.
The team’s resonators allowed the researchers to tune the vibrations experienced by qubits and understand how the mechanical interaction between the two influenced the fidelity of quantum information.
“We’re creating a paradigm system to understand how this information is scrambled,” said Pollanen. “We have control over the environment, in this case, the mechanical vibrations in the resonator, as well as the qubit.”
“If you can understand how these environmental losses affect the system, you can use that to your advantage,” Kitzman said. “The first step in solving a problem is understanding it.”
MSU is one of only a few places equipped and staffed to perform experiments on these coupled qubit-mechanical resonator devices, Pollanen said, and the researchers are excited to use their system for further exploration.  Click here to read the SciTechDaily article in-entirety.

Biden’s curbs on China could blunt Singapore’s edge in quantum technology

Singapore’s nascent quantum technology sector could suffer damage from the many restrictions that the Biden administration is putting in place to deny China the advantage in key technological areas, according to Marvie Basilan writing in the International Business Times August 14.
Some worry that the Biden administration’s recent ban on certain U.S. investments in China, specifically targeting semiconductors and microelectronics, AI, and quantum information tech, may come in Singapore’s way to glory. Singapore has remained a western ally despite the polarization the world has seen following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year.
Dimitris Angelakis, founder of Angel Quantum Computing, a principal investigator at the National University of Singapore’s Center for Quantum Technologies and associate professor at Technical University Crete, told International Business Times that certain quantum startups in Singapore that received “some Chinese backing in the past” may get entangled in the sparring between China and United States and those acquiring quantum hardware for experimental purposes may meet challenges.
He said Washington’s restrictions won’t have a major effect on the Singaporean quantum technology scene as long as basic science cooperation and communication remain “free and uncontrolled.”
The curbs “underscore Singapore’s need to strengthen our local ecosystem, foster know-how, and develop quantum technologies internally,” Tommaso Demarie, co-founder and CEO of Singapore-based quantum optimization company Entropica Labs told IBT.
Singapore has an opportunity to serve as a quantum hub for not just Southeast Asia but also the greater Asian tech space including Japan, India and South Korea if it can skilfully navigate the geopolitical arena. It can become a strategic partner for countries “that will get caught in this technology race between superpowers,” Demarie said. Click here to read article in-entirety.


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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