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Quantum News Briefs September 13: Infleqtion unveils open beta release of Superstaq: accelerating quantum computing performance; WISeSat.Space takes quantum leap with secure IoT satellites amid growing space cybersecurity threats; UTexas ElPaso physicists create powerful magnets to de-freeze quantum computing + MORE

By Sandra Helsel posted 13 Sep 2023

Quantum News Briefs September 13:

Infleqtion unveils open beta release of Superstaq: accelerating quantum computing performance

Infleqtion announced on September 12 the release of its flagship quantum software platform Superstaq into open beta. Quantum News Briefs summarizes.
Superstaq’s device-physics-aware compilation techniques have led to remarkable performance enhancements, such as a 10x boost in standard benchmark applications like Bernstein-Vazirani. Various deep optimization techniques—parametric (fractional) gates, dynamical decoupling, swap mirroring, bring-your-own gateset, phased microwave decompositions, approximate synthesis, and qutrits— contribute to this progress.
Quantum computers are noisy and error-prone, making optimized circuit compilation critical for obtaining useful results. With Superstaq’s full-stack solution, application developers, researchers, quantum hardware providers, and users at national labs, accelerate their time-to-market and boost the computational power of their machines and applications. The platform integrates seamlessly with Qiskit Runtime, maximizing the efficiency of quantum computations.
The open beta release of Superstaq introduces a host of user-centric enhancements. New tutorials and updated documentation ensure easier onboarding, making quantum computing accessible to a broader audience. The platform also offers improved error messaging and resolution channels, enhancing the overall user experience.
“Sandia National Laboratories’ close collaboration with Infleqtion’s Superstaq team has been invaluable in helping Sandia provide researchers around the world low-level access to our quantum computing testbed QSCOUT, a versatile, open, trapped-ion quantum computer. The team tailored compiler optimization techniques attuned to our hardware’s specific performance and capabilities. These routines have focused on the advantages, challenges, and noise characteristics of QSCOUT’s continuously parameterized two-qubit gateset, yielding exciting developments. Our productive endeavor is underscored by a deeply rooted, shared co-design philosophy that has improved both QSCOUT and Superstaq. As QSCOUT has evolved, the Superstaq team has been a valued, collaborative partner,” said Christopher Yale, Experimental Team Lead on QSCOUT.  Click here to read the September 12 announcement in-entirety.

WISeSat.Space takes quantum leap with secure IoT satellites amid growing space cybersecurity threats

WISeKey International Holding Ltd. a global leader in cybersecurity, digital identity, and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions operating as a holding company, announced today the launch of an ultra-secure picosatellite solution via its subsidiary WISeSat AG. This initiative is specifically designed for the Quantum-Ready Internet of Things (IoT) communications market.
The cybersecurity landscape of space is rapidly changing, and with it, the threats faced by satellites. A startling revelation last April saw hackers from Thales Alenia Space manipulating ESA’s OPS-SAT spacecraft, affecting its operations and imagery. As if that wasn’t alarming enough, a leaked U.S. intelligence report divulged China’s exploration into cyber weapons, capable of overtaking enemy satellites during wartime scenarios. This growing list of concerns also includes the significant disruption caused by the cyber-attack on Viasat’s broadband service last year.
WISeSat.Space, alongside SEALSQ, is addressing these concerns head-on with their groundbreaking collaboration. By incorporating the VaultIC408 secure element, they are fortifying each endpoint within the satellite network. This initiative promises businesses, irrespective of their size, a cost-effective, ultra-secure means to establish their digital ecosystems.
Seventeen WISeSat-ready satellites have already made their journey into space via SpaceX, part of an ambitious 80-satellite constellation that aims to offer unparalleled global IoT connectivity and a remarkable data latency of just 10 hours.
Embracing the quantum era, WISeSat.Space is fortifying its solutions against the potential threats posed by quantum computing. Implementing post-quantum solutions and robust devices, they’re setting the standard for secure multi-factor authentication and critical data transfer in the age of quantum computing.
WISeSat.Space AG is a subsidiary of the WISeKey Group at the forefront of developing innovative satellite technology. Click here to read the complete announcement in-entirety.

UTexas ElPaso physicists create powerful magnets to de-freeze quantum computing

Physicists at The University of Texas at El Paso, led by El-Gendy, the team has developed a highly magnetic quantum computing material—100 times more magnetic than pure iron—that functions at regular temperature. This could address a big drawback for quantum computers that can only operate in subzero temperatures. Quantum News Briefs summarizes September 11 Phys.org article by the U of Texas.
“In order to make quantum computers work, we cannot use them at room temperature,” said Ahmed El-Gendy, Ph.D., an associate professor of physics at The University of Texas at El Paso. “That means we will need to cool the computers and cool all the materials, which is very expensive.”
Magnets are used in many modern applications, including smartphones, vehicles and solid state drives—where computers’ information is stored. In quantum computers, magnets are used. Since 2019, the UTEP team has worked to create entirely new magnetic materials for quantum computing. In addition to operating in regular temperatures, the team has focused on magnets that are not made from rare Earth materials.
“All magnets are currently made from rare Earth materials, and we have a shortage of them,” El-Gendy said. “We’re going to face a problem soon of not having these materials to make magnets for any industry. Imagine if we get to that point.”
After several years of trial and error, the team’s efforts paid off. The final winner was a mixture of known aminoferrocene and graphene—and to El-Gendy’s surprise, the material demonstrates extremely powerful magnetism.
“I was really doubting its magnetism, but our results show clearly superparamagnetic behavior,” he said. “No one has prepared a material like this before. I think we could go make a quantum computer at with this.” But much work remains. The material was difficult to make and the team is now trying to optimize the preparation process and continue improving the material’s effectiveness. Click here to read the original Phys.org article in-entirety.

NSF awards 18 universities a total of $29M for quantum sensing research

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded 18 university research teams across the country a total of $29 million to conduct research on quantum-scale sensors according to article by Jose Rascon in Meritalk. Quantum News Briefs summarizes.
Each research team will receive between $1 million to $2 million over four years to conduct research into quantum phenomena and conduct a “broad range of exploratory research activities,” stated the agency.

Related: IQT’s QUANTUM CYBERSECURITY, NETWORKING & SENSORS event in NYC is October 24-26, 2023

The awards are part of the “NSF’s broader strategy to realize the scientific and technological advances called for in 2018’s ‘National Quantum Initiative Act’ and, specifically, 2022’s Bringing Quantum Sensors to Fruition report from the National Science and Technology Council,” stated the agency.
“For decades, scientific exploration at the quantum scale has yielded surprising discoveries about how our universe works — and tantalizing possibilities for quantum-enabled technologies,” said NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan.
Research universities receiving the new funding include:

  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • University of Nevada, Reno
  • University of Oregon
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • West Virginia University
  • University of Colorado Boulder
  • University of California, Santa Barbara

Click here to read original Meritalk article about these grants.

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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