Quantum News Briefs opens today with a deep-dive into the Federal government’s increased spending and policy directives to spur quantum technology in the USA followed by the announcement of a Federal DOE grant to SEEQC, and thirdly by information on Duality’s new cohort of startups. Two research briefs round out the day with findings from U of Paderborn on the manipulation of light for future quantum tech and from China’s Tsinghua University’s successful enhancement of quantum sensing.
Where is Quantum Technology Going in the Federal Government?
The U.S. budget for QIS research and development was roughly $900 million in fiscal 2022. That’s approximately double what the U.S. spent in this area in fiscal 2019, according to a report by the National Science and Technology Council Subcommittee on Quantum Information Science. A national security memorandum maintained “while the full range of applications of quantum computers is still unknown, it is nevertheless clear that America’s continued technological and scientific leadership will depend, at least in part, on the nation’s ability to maintain a competitive advantage in quantum computing and QIS.”
Thyagarajan Nandagopal, division director for the Division of Innovation and Technology Ecosystems at NSF, told FedTech that quantum computing has the potential to make daily government processes more efficient.
Cybersecurity remains top of mind. A 2021 National Security Agency document on quantum computing explains that National Security Systems that carry classified or otherwise sensitive military or intelligence information rely on public key cryptography as a critical component for protecting the confidentiality, integrity and authenticity of national security information. Related: Inside Quantum Technology New York: The World’s Quantum Cybersecurity Event on October 25-27 will provide comprehensive coverage of quantum cybersecurity.
The NSA doc explains, “Without effective mitigation, the impact of adversarial use of a quantum computer could be devastating to NSS and our nation, especially in cases where such information needs to be protected for many decades,” it notes. The Biden administration plans to address these possibilities by maintaining U.S. leadership in QIS by continuing to invest, partner and take a balanced approach to technology promotion and protection.
SEEQC Awarded $400,000 DOE Grant for Small Business R&D
The first grant, titled “Development of Fabrication Process for Controlling Phononic Thermal Transport to Improve Qubit Performance,” supports the development of a novel method to protect qubits from external disturbance such as cosmic rays. The new process will address phonon-induced decoherence, leveraging SEEQC’s current fabrication process to make unique phonon blocking features. The second grant, titled “Process Development for Commercial Manufacturing of Micromachined Millimeter Wave Components,” will enable SEEQC to participate in a technology transfer. This transfer will establish SEEQC as an industry partner creating microfabricated silicon-based millimeter wave components at its New York based foundry.
Launched in April 2021, Duality is a first-of-its-kind accelerator aimed at supporting next-generation startups focused on quantum science and technology. The 12-month program provides world-class business and entrepreneurship training from its partner institutions and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Duality Cohort 2:
Icosa Computing // A US-based startup building quantum computing and physics-enhanced optimizers for financial institutions
memQ // A US-based company building technology to enable the quantum internet
Quantescence // A France- and US-based quantum computing software startup that has created a quantum emulator platform
=SCALINQ // A Sweden-based startup developing unique packaging solutions for superconducting quantum chips
Wave Photonics // A UK-based startup using computational techniques to accelerate integrated photonics design
Nanostructured Surfaces for Future quantum Computer Chips
Researchers at Paderborn University, working under Professor Thomas Zentgraf and in cooperation with colleagues from the Australian National University and Singapore University of Technology and Design, have developed a new technology for manipulating light that can be used as a basis for future optical quantum computers. Quantum News Briefs summarizes.
New optical elements for manipulating light will allow for more advanced applications in modern information technology, particularly in quantum computers. However, a major challenge that remains is non-reciprocal light propagation through nanostructured surfaces, where these surfaces have been manipulated at a tiny scale.
“Maybe we will see an application in future optical quantum computers where the directed production of individual photons using frequency conversion plays an important role,” says Zentgraf.
Enhanced Quantum Sensing Via Quantum Error Correction In A Superconducting Quantum System
This is the first demonstration of a QEC-based quantum radiometry with a bosonic probe. It shows that QEC can be used to improve the performance of quantum sensing. This scheme can be extended to trapped ion systems and the emerging quantum acoustic platform. Our work on approximate QEC-enhanced sensing also presents a conceptual advance in near-term quantum applications, reveals its significant difference from the conventional applications of QEC in storing quantum information, and would stimulate further theoretical and experimental ideas for quantum sensing.
Read more here.
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.