(HPCWire) The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago recently received two awards from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in collaboration with industry and academic partners. The awards will fund two multi-year projects in an effort to secure the nation’s leadership in the field of quantum information science.
The DARPA awards are a part of the ONISQ program — Optimization with Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum devices — aimed at developing novel quantum algorithms and quantum systems that can scale to hundreds or thousands of qubits with high performance and reliability. The objective is to show the quantum advantage of quantum-hybrid systems over classical systems for a range of difficult combinatorial optimization problems, including resource allocation, logistics and image recognition.
The first award is with ColdQuanta, a quantum atomics company. ​“With this award, ColdQuanta, Argonne and our other partners will develop a scalable, cold-atom-based quantum computing hardware and software platform, and demonstrate quantum advantage on real-world problems,” said Tom Noël, group leader for quantum computing at ColdQuanta. ​“We believe our collective team has the expertise and passion to achieve the project objectives and are thrilled to have been awarded the contract from DARPA.”
The total award is valued at about $7.4 million. Argonne’s partners in this collaboration are ColdQuanta, the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Raytheon Technologies, NIST Gaithersburg, University of Colorado Boulder, University of Innsbruck and Tufts University.
The second award is with Ilya Safro, an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Clemson University. The goal of the project is to develop a family of hybrid quantum-classical multilevel algorithms for solving efficient combinatorial optimization problems on Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum (NISQ) devices. The total award is valued at about $1 million.

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