Inside Quantum Technology

Quantum News Briefs: February 3, 2024: IARPA Pursuing Significant Advancement in Quantum Computing; CCC Releases Updated Report on Quantum Computing Progress; Princeton Quantum Initiative unveils plans for new building; and 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: February 3, 2024: 

IARPA Pursuing Significant Advancement in Quantum Computing

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), the research branch of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, has launched the Entangled Logical Qubits (ELQ) program to advance quantum computing. This initiative aims to address the challenges of error correction and fault tolerance in quantum computing, which is critical for achieving universal fault-tolerant quantum computing (UFTQC). By focusing on the development and entanglement of logical qubits (LQs), the program seeks to enable quantum teleportation with minimal errors, a step considered vital towards realizing quantum computing’s potential to solve complex problems in physics, chemistry, and mathematics. The ELQ program has awarded research contracts to teams from ETH Zurich, Harvard University, University of Innsbruck, and University of Sydney, with support from the Air Force Research Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories, alongside government-furnished capabilities from MIT Lincoln Laboratory, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and Sandia National Laboratories.

CCC Releases Updated Report on Quantum Computing Progress

The Computing Community Consortium (CCC) has recently published an update on the advancements in quantum computing over the past five years, highlighting the ongoing transition from the Noisy Intermediate Scale Quantum (NISQ) era toward fault-tolerant quantum computing. Despite quantum computers currently facing high error rates and limited logical qubit capacity, significant strides in Quantum Error Correction are paving the way for more reliable and scalable systems. A workshop held in the spring of 2023 led to a report that emphasized the critical need for scalable architectures, practical applications and algorithms, advancements in fault tolerance and error mitigation, the integration of hybrid quantum-classical systems, and the development of tools and programming languages. This collaborative effort, underscored by Duke University’s Professor Kenneth Brown, aims to address the challenges of reducing errors and scaling systems through interdisciplinary innovation. The report, optimistic about the future, calls for standardized quantum computing benchmarking to evaluate platforms, algorithms, and their applications, marking a pivotal moment in the quest for fault-tolerant quantum computing systems.

Princeton Quantum Initiative unveils plans for new building

Princeton University’s Board of Trustees has unveiled plans for a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to quantum science and engineering, marking a significant step in the institution’s commitment to advancing scientific research and sustainability. Submitted on December 15, 2023, to the Princeton Town Council’s planning board, the Quantum Institute for Quantum Science and Engineering represents an extension of Princeton’s strategic focus on enhancing its engineering departments and interdisciplinary units. This initiative, rooted in the University’s Quantum Initiative established in 2019, aims to foster collaboration across various disciplines to pioneer quantum information technologies. The new building is designed to support groundbreaking work in quantum computing, communication, and sensing while also embodying Princeton’s goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2046. It will be situated on what is currently athletic fields, with plans to relocate these facilities to accommodate the construction. The proposed institute is part of a broader effort to integrate sustainable design within the University’s expansion projects, aligning with recent advancements by Princeton physicists in quantum entanglement and signaling a bright future for quantum research and environmental stewardship.

In Other News: Innovation News Network article: “Empowering the quantum revolution: The EPIQC project’s journey and future prospects”

The Empowering Practical Interfacing of Quantum Computing (EPIQC) project, spearheaded by the University of Glasgow with notable backing from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), is making significant strides in the quantum computing field by bridging the gap between this emerging technology and established Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), states a recent Innovation News Network article. Quantum computing, known for its potential to exponentially increase computational power through the use of quantum bits or qubits, is currently facing challenges in practical application due to its complex integration with existing ICT systems. The EPIQC project aims to address these challenges over four years by developing new methods and technologies for optical interconnects, wireless control and readout, and cryoelectronics. This initiative not only advances academic research but also raises awareness of quantum computing’s potential, with collaborations across UK academia and industry to co-create solutions that facilitate the practical use of quantum computing in the broader ICT landscape.

In Other News: Forbes article: “Quantum AI: What Good Is It?”

Quantum AI is making significant strides in revolutionizing industries by providing ultra-fast processing of large, complex datasets, particularly benefiting the AI industry itself, states Inside Quantum Technology Founder and President Lawrence Gasman in a recent Forbes article. Quantum computers are being leveraged to build better AI products faster, offering near-term benefits such as drastically reducing the time required to train large language models like ChatGPT. This advancement is not only speeding up the AI industry’s productivity but also promising substantial economic impacts, with projections suggesting it could raise global GDP by 7% over a decade. Beyond AI, quantum AI is finding applications in drug discovery, enabling simulations of potential blockbuster drugs with greater efficiency than traditional methods. Additionally, it is optimizing financial services through portfolio optimization, showcasing the potential for quantum AI in managing complex data and enhancing decision-making processes. This emerging field, supported by accessible quantum computing via the cloud and advancements in technology, is paving the way for a new era of applications where the synergy of quantum computing and AI could revolutionize various sectors, despite the challenges and the need for further development and testing.

In Other News: Built-In article: “Quantum Computing Has Entered the Logical Qubit Era. Why Does That Matter?”

As Yuval Boger highlights in a recent Built-In article, quantum computing is poised for a transformative leap with the emergence of the logical qubit era, addressing the critical challenge of error reduction that has hampered the technology’s practical applications. Logical qubits, unlike their physical counterparts, are constructed from multiple physical qubits to form a fault-tolerant system that can perform reliable computations in the presence of noise and errors. This advancement in quantum error correction, by leveraging redundancy and sophisticated encoding techniques, significantly enhances the reliability and stability of quantum computers, enabling them to tackle complex algorithms without the prohibitive error rates that have traditionally limited their utility. Recent breakthroughs, such as those achieved by Harvard University and collaborators, in performing error-corrected quantum algorithms on 48 logical qubits mark a significant milestone, showcasing the feasibility of quantum computers that are both useful and impactful. This shift towards logical qubits is seen as the key to unlocking quantum computing’s full potential, promising revolutionary applications across various fields, including drug discovery, optimization problems, and artificial intelligence, as the focus shifts from the quantity of physical qubits to the capability and quality of logical, error-corrected qubits.

In Other News: Investor Place article: “3 Stocks to Unlock the Incredible Potential of Quantum Computing”

Quantum computing is gaining momentum as a transformative force capable of solving complex problems beyond traditional computers’ reach, potentially revolutionizing fields such as drug discovery, artificial intelligence, and green energy, says a recent Investor Place article. Investment in quantum computing is burgeoning, with over 30 governments committing more than $40 billion over the next decade, reflecting a growing consensus on its vast potential, projected to be worth about $850 billion by 2040. Among the key players in this emerging market is IonQ, which has seen substantial growth and recently upgraded its revenue guidance and announced a significant contract with the U.S. Air Force. D-Wave Quantum is known for its commercial quantum computing solutions and notable collaborations with Deloitte in Canada. The Defiance Quantum ETF offers investors a diversified entry point into the quantum computing space, featuring holdings in companies leading in transformative computing technologies. This collective momentum underscores the critical juncture at which quantum computing stands today, poised to unlock unprecedented computational capabilities and market opportunities.

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.

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