Quantum News Briefs: February 10, 2024: Quantum Motion Wins Bid to Deliver Silicon Quantum Computing Prototype to NQCC; New IEC/ISO Joint Technical Committee on Quantum Technologies—Inviting Participants for the U.S. National Committee Technical Advisory Group; NYU Researchers Show Classical Computers Can Keep Up with, and Surpass, Their Quantum Counterparts; and MORE!
Quantum News Briefs: February 10, 2024:
Quantum Motion Wins Bid to Deliver Silicon Quantum Computing Prototype to NQCC
Quantum Motion, a pioneering UK quantum computing company co-founded by academics from University College London and the University of Oxford, has been chosen by the National Quantum Computing Centre (NQCC) to develop a groundbreaking quantum processor test bed in Oxfordshire. Leveraging the conventional silicon MOS platform ubiquitous in consumer electronics, this collaboration aims to bolster the UK’s quantum computing capabilities by providing a practical, scalable quantum computing prototype. This initiative is part of the NQCC’s broader strategy to consolidate the UK’s leading position in quantum computing, facilitating access for researchers and public sector communities to engage in groundbreaking science and technology projects. Quantum Motion’s approach focuses on integrating scalable, fault-tolerant quantum architectures with advanced cryo-electronics and machine learning control systems, paving the way to transition from experimental systems to viable commercial quantum computing solutions.
New IEC/ISO Joint Technical Committee on Quantum Technologies—Inviting Participants for the U.S. National Committee Technical Advisory Group
The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) have established a new Joint Technical Committee (JTC) focused on Quantum Technologies, with the British Standards Institution (BSI) serving as the Secretariat and leadership from the Republic of Korea. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has appointed the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to administer the U.S. National Committee (USNC) Technical Advisory Group (TAG) for this JTC. NIST is actively inviting U.S. stakeholders interested in contributing to the JTC’s efforts, including leading technical groups or serving as technical advisors, to reach out for participation. The committee’s inaugural meeting is scheduled for late May in Seoul, South Korea, where discussions on the committee’s structure, leadership, and technical priorities will take place. The JTC aims to standardize various aspects of quantum technologies, excluding sector-specific applications, and coordinate with relevant committees to advance quantum technology standardization globally.
NYU Researchers Show Classical Computers Can Keep Up with, and Surpass, Their Quantum Counterparts
Researchers at New York University have developed an innovative method that enhances the speed and accuracy of classical computing, challenging the prevailing notion that quantum computing alone represents the future of high-speed and efficient computations. This advancement, detailed in a recent PRX Quantum journal publication, involves an algorithm that selectively retains only essential parts of the information from a quantum state, enabling classical computers to perform calculations more swiftly and accurately than even the most advanced quantum computers. This breakthrough underscores the potential for classical computing to mimic quantum computing’s capabilities by addressing quantum’s inherent issues of information loss and translation. Led by Joseph Tindall of the Flatiron Institute and Dries Sels from New York University, the team’s approach draws on optimizing tensor networks—complex systems that model qubit interactions—using statistical inference methods, likening the process to image compression techniques that reduce file size while preserving quality. This work not only showcases the untapped capabilities of classical computing but also highlights the challenges in achieving a quantum advantage due to quantum computers’ error susceptibility.
In Other News: Forbes article: “Changed Times: Why Europe’s Quantum Startups Need A Path To Profit”
A recent Forbes article highlights that in 2023, investment in quantum computing startups and scale-ups saw a significant decline globally, with private investors allocating $1.2 billion, down from $2.3 billion in the previous year, primarily due to reduced funding in the U.S. and Asia. However, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa bucked this trend with a slight increase of around 3% in investment, as highlighted in a report by European investors OpenOcean, Lakestar, Finnish quantum company IQM, and The Quantum Insider. Despite a global downturn, which the report describes as a “significant global cooling” rather than an investment winter, Europe’s quantum ventures attracted more funding. This shift indicates a changing landscape where quantum computing. However, still a long-term investment with mainstream adoption expected a decade away, demands startups and scaleups to not only showcase groundbreaking technology but also present a viable path to profitability and market relevance. The report underscores the importance of public funding alongside private investment, with government spending identified as a crucial buffer against the fall in VC funds, emphasizing the role of revenue generation and tangible products in attracting investment and sustaining growth in the quantum computing sector.
In Other News: Verdict article: “Quantum winter looms as companies grapple with macroeconomic challenges – GlobalData”
The quantum computing industry, initially met with enthusiasm for its potential to revolutionize data storage and computation, is currently navigating significant challenges that have cooled early excitement, highlights a recent Verdict article. The primary hurdle is developing high-fidelity quantum bits (qubits), a task complicated by engineering difficulties and extending the timeline for achieving reliable qubit networks, now expected around 2027. According to GlobalData’s Thematic Intelligence: Quantum Computing report, there’s a strategic divergence in quantum development efforts between the US, where private entities lead, and China, which focuses on state institutions. Notable tech companies like Alibaba and Baidu have shifted their quantum resources to national projects. Despite these challenges, there’s hope in developing noisy intermediate-scale quantum (NISQ) devices and modular systems, expected to enhance optimization applications and bridge the gap between classical and quantum computing. The report also notes the significant investment by governments in quantum research for national security, with market value projections for quantum computing between $500 million and $1 billion in 2022, potentially reaching $10 billion by 2030. However, these forecasts are speculative, given the industry’s nascent state and the possibility of unexpected breakthroughs, with the current market focus on cloud-based quantum services by leading companies.
Kenna Hughes-Castleberry is the Managing Editor at Inside Quantum Technology and the Science Communicator at JILA (a partnership between the University of Colorado Boulder and NIST). Her writing beats include deep tech, quantum computing, and AI. Her work has been featured in National Geographic, Scientific American, Discover Magazine, New Scientist, Ars Technica, and more.