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Baidu offers quantum computing from the cloud – VentureBeat

Posted: September 26, 2020 at 9:52 am

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Following its developer conference last week, Baidu today detailed Quantum Leaf, a new cloud quantum computing platform designed for programming, simulating, and executing quantum workloads. Its aimed at providing a programming environment for quantum-infrastructure-as-a-service setups, Baidu says, and it complements the Paddle Quantum development toolkit the company released earlier this year.

Experts believe that quantum computing, which at a high level entails the use of quantum-mechanical phenomena like superposition and entanglement to perform computation, could one day accelerate AI workloads. Moreover, AI continues to play a role in cutting-edge quantum computing research.

Baidu says a key component of Quantum Leaf is QCompute, a Python-based open source development kit with a hybrid programming language and a high-performance simulator. Users can leverage prebuilt objects and modules in the quantum programming environment, passing parameters to build and execute quantum circuits on the simulator or cloud simulators and hardware. Essentially, QCompute provides services for creating and analyzing circuits and calling the backend.

Quantum Leaf dovetails with Quanlse, which Baidu also detailed today. The company describes Quanlse as a cloud-based quantum pulse computing service that bridges the gap between software and hardware by providing a service to design and implement pulse sequences as part of quantum tasks. (Pulse sequences are a means of reducing quantum error, which results from decoherence and other quantum noise.) Quanlse works with both superconducting circuits and nuclear magnetic resonance platforms and will extend to new form factors in the future, Baidu says.

The unveiling of Quantum Leaf and Quanlse follows the release of Amazon Braket and Googles TensorFlow Quantum, a machine learning framework that can construct quantum data sets, prototype hybrid quantum and classic machine learning models, support quantum circuit simulators, and train discriminative and generative quantum models. Facebooks PyTorch relies on Xanadus multi-contributor project for quantum computing PennyLane, a third-party library for quantum machine learning, automatic differentiation, and optimization of hybrid quantum-classical computations. And Microsoft offers several kits and libraries for quantum machine learning applications.

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IBM Partners With HBCUs to Diversify Quantum Computing Workforce – Diverse: Issues in Higher Education

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September 21, 2020 | :

In partnership with historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), IBM recently launched a quantum computing research initiative to raise awareness of the field and diversify the workforce.

The IBM-HBCU Quantum Center, a multi-year investment, will fund undergraduate and graduate research, provide access to IBM quantum computers through the Cloud and offer student support.

Quantum computing is considered a fairly young field and quantum computers were not readily available in research labs until 2016. IBM was the first company to put a quantum computer on the Cloud, which allows it to be accessible from anywhere, according to Dr. Abraham Asfaw, global lead of Quantum Education and Open Science at IBM Quantum.

What that implies is that now anyone around the world can participate, he said. This is why we have this broad education effort, to really try and make quantum computing open and accessible to everyone. The scale of the industry is very small but we are stepping into the right direction in terms of trying to get more people into the field.

The 13 HBCUs that will be part of the initiative include Albany State University, Clark Atlanta University, Coppin State University, Hampton University, Howard University, Morehouse College, Morgan State University, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Southern University, Texas Southern University, University of the Virgin Islands, Virginia Union University and Xavier University of Louisiana.

Each of the schools was chosen based on how much the school focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Its very important at this point to be building community and to be educating everyone so that we have opportunities in the quantum computing field for everyone, said Asfaw. While at the same time, we are bringing in diverse perspectives to see where quantum computing applications could emerge.

Dr. Abraham Asfaw

The center encourages individuals from all STEM disciplines to pursue quantum computing. According to Asfaw, the field of quantum computing is considered highly interdisciplinary.

Teaching quantum computing, at any place, requires bringing together several departments, he said. So putting together a quantum curriculum is an exercise in making sure your students are trained in STEM all the way from the beginning to the end with different pieces from the different sciences instead of just one department altogether.

Diversifying the quantum computing workforce can also be looked at in two ways. One is getting different groups of people into the field and the other is bringing different perspectives into the field from the direction of the other sciences that could benefit from quantum computing, according to Asfaw.

We are in this discovery phase now, so really having help from all fields is a really powerful thing, he added.

IBM also plans to donate $100 million to provide more HBCUs with resources and technology as part of the Skills Academy Academic Initiative in Global University Programs. This includes providing HBCUs with university guest lectures, curriculum content, digital badges, software and faculty training by the end of 2020, according to IBM.

Our entire quantum education effort is centered around making all of our resources open and accessible to everyone, said Asfaw. [Our investment] is really an attempt to integrate HBCUs, which also are places of origin for so many successful scientists today, to give them opportunities to join the quantum computing revolution.

According to IBM, the skills academy is a comprehensive, integrated program designed to create a foundation of diverse and high demand skill sets that directly correlate to what students will need in the workplace.

The academy will address topics such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, blockchain, design thinking and quantum computing.

Those HBCUs involved in the academy include Clark Atlanta University, Fayetteville State University, Grambling State University, Hampton University, Howard University, Johnson C. Smith University, Norfolk State University, North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina Central University, Southern University System, Stillman College, Virginia State and West Virginia State University.

While we are teaching quantum computing, while we are building quantum computing at universities, while we are training developers to take on quantum computer, it is important at this point to be inclusive and accessible as possible, said Afsaw. That really allows the field to progress.

This summer, IBM also hosted the 2020 Qiskit Global Summer School, which was designed for people to further explore the quantum computing field. The program involved three hours of lectures as well as hands-on learning opportunities. Many HBCU students were part of the program.

This shows you thats one piece of the bigger picture of trying to get the whole world involved in quantum education, said Asfaw. Thats the first place where HBCUs were involved and we hope to continue to build on even more initiatives going forward.

Sarah Wood can be reached at

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IBM Partners With HBCUs to Diversify Quantum Computing Workforce - Diverse: Issues in Higher Education

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September 26th, 2020 at 9:52 am

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IBM, Alphabet and well-funded startups in the race for quantum supremacy – IT Brief Australia

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GlobalData, the worldwide data analysts, have offered new research that suggests that many companies are joining the race for quantum supremacy, that is, to be the first to make significant headway with quantum computing.

Quantum computers are a step closer to reality to solve certain real life problems that are beyond the capability of conventional computers, the analysts state.

However, the biggest challenge is that these machines should be able to manipulate several dozens of quantum bits or qubits to achieve impressive computational performance.

As a result, a handful of companies have joined the race to increase the power of qubits and claim quantum supremacy, says GlobalData.

An analysis of GlobalDatas Disruptor Intelligence Center reveals various companies in the race to monetisequantum computing as an everyday tool for business.

IBM's latest quantum computer, accessible via cloud, boasts a 65-qubit Hummingbird chip. It is an advanced version of System Q, its first commercial quantum computer launched in 2019 that has 20 qubits. IBM plans to launch a 1,000-qubit system by the end of 2023.

Alphabet has built a 54-qubit processor Sycamore and demonstrated its quantum supremacy by performing a task of generating a random number in 200 seconds, which it claims would take the most advanced supercomputer 10,000 years to finish the task.

The company also unveiled its newest 72-qubit quantum computer Bristlecone.

Alibabas cloud service subsidiary Aliyun and the Chinese Academy of Sciences jointly launched an 11-qubit quantum computing service, which is available to the public on its quantum computing cloud platform.

Alibaba is the second enterprise to offer the service to public after IBM.

However, its not only the tech giants that are noteworthy. GlobalData finds that well-funded startups have also targeted the quantum computing space to develop hardware, algorithms and security applications.

Some of them are Rigetti, Xanadu, 1Qbit, IonQ, ISARA, Q-CTRL and QxBranch.

Amazon, unlike the tech companies competing to launch quantum computers, is making quantum products of other companies available to users via Braket.

It currently supports quantum computing services from D-Wave, IonQ and Rigetti.

GlobalData principal disruptive tech analyst Kiran Raj says, Qubits can allow to create algorithms for the completion of a task with reduced computational complexity that cannot be achieved with traditional bits.

"Given such advantages, quantum computers can solve some of the intractable problems in cybersecurity, drug research, financial modelling, traffic optimisation and batteries to name a few.

Raj says, Albeit a far cry from the large-scale mainstream use, quantum computers are gearing up to be a transformative reality. They are highly expensive to build and it is hard to maintain the delicate state of superposition and entanglement of qubits.

"Despite such challenges, quantum computers will continue to progress into the future where companies may rent them to solve everyday problems the way they currently rent cloud services.

"It may not come as a surprise that quantum computing one day replaces artificial intelligence as the mainstream technology to help industries tackle problems they never would have attempted to solve before.

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September 26th, 2020 at 9:52 am

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Inaugural OSA Quantum 2.0 Conference Featured Talks on Emerging Technologies – Novus Light Technologies Today

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Published on 22 September 2020

The unique role of optics and photonics in driving quantum research and technologies was featured in presentations for the inaugural OSA Quantum 2.0 Conference held 14 17 September. The all-virtual event, presented concurrently with the 2020 Frontiers in Optics and Laser Science APS/DLS (FiO + LS) Conference, drew almost 2,500 registrants from more than 70 countries.

Live and pre-recorded technical presentations on quantum computing and simulation to quantum sensing were available for registrants across the globe at no cost. The conference engaged scientists, engineers and others addressing grand challenges in building a quantum science and technology infrastructure.

The meeting succeeded in bringing together scientists from academia, industry and government labs in a very constructive way, said conference co-chair Michael Raymer of the University of Oregon, USA. The high quality of the talks, along with the facilitation by the presiders and OSA staff, moves us closer to the goal of an open, global ecosystem for advancing quantum information science and technology.

Marissa Giustina, senior research scientist and quantum electronics engineerwith Google AI Quantum, described the companys efforts to build a quantum computer in her keynote talk. Googles goal was to build a prototype system that could enter a space where no classical computer can go at a size of about 50 qubits. To create a viable system, Guistina said there must be strong collaboration between algorithm and hardware developers.

Quantum Algorithms for Finite Energies and Temperatures was the focus of a talk by Ignacio Cirac, director of the Theory Division at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics and Honorary Professor at the Technical University of Munich. He described advances in quantum simulators for addressing problems with the dynamics of physical quantum systems. His recent work focuses on developing algorithms for use on quantum simulators to solve many-body problems

Solutions to digital security challenges was the topic of a talk by Gregoire Ribordy,co-founder and CEO of ID Quantique, Switzerland. He described quantum security techniques, technology and strengths in his keynote talk titled Quantum Technologies for Long-term Data Security. His work centers on the use of quantum safe cryptography and quantum key distribution, and commercially available quantum random number generators in data security.

Mikhail Lukin, co-director of the Harvard Quantum Initiative in Science and Engineering and co-director of the Harvard-MIT Center for Ultracold Atoms, USA, described progress towards quantum repeaters for long-distance quantum communication. He also discussed a new platform for exploring synthetic quantum matter and quantum communication systems based on nanophotonics with atom-like systems.

Conference-wide sponsors for the combined OSA Quantum 2.0 Conference and FiO + LS Conference included Facebook Reality Labs, Toptica Photonics and Oz Optics. Registrants interacted with more than three dozen companies in the virtual exhibit to learn about their latest technologies from instruments for quantum science and education to LIDAR and remote sensing applications.

Registrants can continue to benefit from conference resources for 60 days. Recordings of the technical sessions, the e-Posters Gallery and the Virtual Exhibit will be available on-demand on the FiO + LS website.

Labels: Optical Society,quantum technology,research,optics,conference,applications

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Inaugural OSA Quantum 2.0 Conference Featured Talks on Emerging Technologies - Novus Light Technologies Today

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IBM plans to build a 1121 qubit system. What does this technology mean? – The Hindu

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Last week, IBM said it will build Quantum Condor, a 1121 qubit quantum computer, by the end of 2023. The company claims the system can control behaviour of atoms to run applications, and generate world-changing materials to transform industries. IBM says its full-stack quantum computer can be deployed via cloud, and that it can be programmed from any part of the world.

The technology company is developing a super-fridge, internally codenamed Goldeneye, to house the computer. The 10-foot-tall and 6-foot-wide refrigerator is being designed for a million-qubit system.

What are Qubits and quantum computers?

Quantum computers process data exponentially faster than personal computers do. They deploy non-intuitive methods, coupled with lots of computing, to solve intractable problems. These machines operate using qubits, similar to bits in personal computers.

The similarity ends there. The way quantum machines solve a problem is very different from how a traditional machine does.

A classical computer tries solving a problem intuitively. If they are given a command, they attempt every possible move, one after another, turning back at dead ends, until they find a solution.

Quantum computers deploy superposition to solve problems. This allows them to exist in multiple states, and test all possible ways at once. And qubits, the fundamental units of data in quantum computing, enables these machines to compute this way.

In regular computers, bits have either 0 or 1 value, and they come in four possible combinations - - 00, 01, 10, 11. Only one combination can exist at a single point of time, which limits processing speed.

But, in quantum machines, two qubits can represent same values, and all four can exist at the same time. This helps these systems to run faster.

This means that n qubits can represent 2n states. So, 2 qubits represent 4 states, 3 qubits 8 states, 4 qubits 16 states, and so on. And now imagine the many states IBMs 1121 qubit system can represent.

An ordinary 64-bit computer would take hundred years to cycle through these combinations. And thats exactly why quantum computers are being built: to solve intractable problems and break-down theories that are practically impossible for classical computers.

To make such large and difficult calculations happen, the qubits need to be linked together in quantum entanglement. This enables qubits at any end of the universe to connect and be manipulated in such a way that not one can be described without referencing the others.

Why are qubits difficult?

One of the key challenges for processing in qubits is the possibility of losing data during transition. Additionally, assembling qubits, writing and reading information from them is a difficult task.

The fundamental units demand special attention, including a perfect isolation and a thermostat set of one hundredth of a degree above absolute zero. Despite strict monitoring, due to their highly sensitive nature, they can lose superposition even from a slightest variation. This makes programming very tricky.

Since quantum computers are programmed using a sequence of logic gates of various kinds, programmes need to run quickly before qubits lose coherence. The combination of superposition and entanglement makes this process a whole lot harder.

Other companies building quantum computers

There has been a lot of interest in quantum computing in recent times. In 2016, IBM put the first quantum computer in the cloud. Google launched Sycamore quantum computer last year, and said it was close to achieving quantum supremacy.

This month, IBM released its 65-qubit IBM Quantum Hummingbird processor to IBM Q Network members, and the company is planning to surpass the 100-qubit milestone with its 127-qubit IBM Quantum Eagle processor next year. It is also planning to roll out a 433-qubit IBM Quantum Osprey system in 2022.

D-Wave systems, a Canada-based quantum computing company, launched its cloud service in India and Australia this year. It gives researchers and developers in these two countries real-time access to its quantum computers.

Honeywell recently outlined its quantum system, and other technology companies like Microsoft and Intel are also chasing commercialisation.

The ongoing experiments and analysis speak volumes on how tech companies are viewing quantum computers as the next big breakthrough in computing.

Quantum computers will likely deliver tremendous speed, and will help in solving problems related to optimisation in defence, finance, and other industries.

IBM views the 1000-qubit mark as the point from where the commercialisation of quantum computers can take off.

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IBM plans to build a 1121 qubit system. What does this technology mean? - The Hindu

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Could Quantum Computing Progress Be Halted by Background Radiation? – Singularity Hub

Posted: September 1, 2020 at 10:55 am

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Doing calculations with a quantum computer is a race against time, thanks to the fragility of the quantum states at their heart. And new research suggests we may soon hit a wall in how long we can hold them together thanks to interference from natural background radiation.

While quantum computing could one day enable us to carry out calculations beyond even the most powerful supercomputer imaginable, were still a long way from that point. And a big reason for that is a phenomenon known as decoherence.

The superpowers of quantum computers rely on holding the qubitsquantum bitsthat make them up in exotic quantum states like superposition and entanglement. Decoherence is the process by which interference from the environment causes them to gradually lose their quantum behavior and any information that was encoded in them.

It can be caused by heat, vibrations, magnetic fluctuations, or any host of environmental factors that are hard to control. Currently we can keep superconducting qubits (the technology favored by the fields leaders like Google and IBM) stable for up to 200 microseconds in the best devices, which is still far too short to do any truly meaningful computations.

But new research from scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), published last week in Nature, suggests we may struggle to get much further. They found that background radiation from cosmic rays and more prosaic sources like trace elements in concrete walls is enough to put a hard four-millisecond limit on the coherence time of superconducting qubits.

These decoherence mechanisms are like an onion, and weve been peeling back the layers for the past 20 years, but theres another layer that left unabated is going to limit us in a couple years, which is environmental radiation, William Oliver from MIT said in a press release. This is an exciting result, because it motivates us to think of other ways to design qubits to get around this problem.

Superconducting qubits rely on pairs of electrons flowing through a resistance-free circuit. But radiation can knock these pairs out of alignment, causing them to split apart, which is what eventually results in the qubit decohering.

To determine how significant of an impact background levels of radiation could have on qubits, the researchers first tried to work out the relationship between coherence times and radiation levels. They exposed qubits to irradiated copper whose emissions dropped over time in a predictable way, which showed them that coherence times rose as radiation levels fell up to a maximum of four milliseconds, after which background effects kicked in.

To check if this coherence time was really caused by the natural radiation, they built a giant shield out of lead brick that could block background radiation to see what happened when the qubits were isolated. The experiments clearly showed that blocking the background emissions could boost coherence times further.

At the minute, a host of other problems like material impurities and electronic disturbances cause qubits to decohere before these effects kick in, but given the rate at which the technology has been improving, we may hit this new wall in just a few years.

Without mitigation, radiation will limit the coherence time of superconducting qubits to a few milliseconds, which is insufficient for practical quantum computing, Brent VanDevender from PNNL said in a press release.

Potential solutions to the problem include building radiation shielding around quantum computers or locating them underground, where cosmic rays arent able to penetrate so easily. But if you need a few tons of lead or a large cavern in order to install a quantum computer, thats going to make it considerably harder to roll them out widely.

Its important to remember, though, that this problem has only been observed in superconducting qubits so far. In July, researchers showed they could get a spin-orbit qubit implemented in silicon to last for about 10 milliseconds, while trapped ion qubits can stay stable for as long as 10 minutes. And MITs Oliver says theres still plenty of room for building more robust superconducting qubits.

We can think about designing qubits in a way that makes them rad-hard, he said. So its definitely not game-over, its just the next layer of the onion we need to address.

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Could Quantum Computing Progress Be Halted by Background Radiation? - Singularity Hub

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Fermilab to lead $115 million National Quantum Information Science Research Center to build revolutionary quantum computer with Rigetti Computing,…

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One of the goals of theSuperconducting Quantum Materials and Systems Centeris to build a beyond-state-of-the-art quantum computer based on superconducting technologies.The center also will develop new quantum sensors, which could lead to the discovery of the nature of dark matter and other elusive subatomic particles.

The U.S. Department of Energys Fermilab has been selected to lead one of five national centers to bring about transformational advances in quantum information science as a part of the U.S. National Quantum Initiative, announced the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy today.

The initiative provides the newSuperconducting Quantum Materials and Systems Centerfunding with the goal of building and deploying a beyond-state-of-the-art quantum computer based on superconducting technologies. The center also will develop new quantum sensors, which could lead to the discovery of the nature of dark matter and other elusive subatomic particles. Total planned DOE funding for the center is $115 million over five years, with $15 million in fiscal year 2020 dollars and outyear funding contingent on congressional appropriations. SQMS will also receive an additional $8 million in matching contributions from center partners.

The SQMS Center is part of a $625 million federal program to facilitate and foster quantum innovation in the United States. The 2018 National Quantum Initiative Act called for a long-term, large-scale commitment of U.S. scientific and technological resources to quantum science.

The revolutionary leaps in quantum computing and sensing that SQMS aims for will be enabled by a unique multidisciplinary collaboration that includes 20 partners national laboratories, academic institutions and industry. The collaboration brings together world-leading expertise in all key aspects: from identifying qubits quality limitations at the nanometer scale to fabrication and scale-up capabilities into multiqubit quantum computers to the exploration of new applications enabled by quantum computers and sensors.

The breadth of the SQMS physics, materials science, device fabrication and characterization technology combined with the expertise in large-scale integration capabilities by the SQMS Center is unprecedented for superconducting quantum science and technology, said SQMS Deputy Director James Sauls of Northwestern University. As part of the network of National QIS Research centers, SQMS will contribute to U.S. leadership in quantum science for the years to come.

SQMS researchers are developing long-coherence-time qubits based on Rigetti Computings state-of-the-art quantum processors. Image: Rigetti Computing

At the heart of SQMS research will be solving one of the most pressing problems in quantum information science: the length of time that a qubit, the basic element of a quantum computer, can maintain information, also called quantum coherence. Understanding and mitigating sources of decoherence that limit performance of quantum devices is critical to engineering in next-generation quantum computers and sensors.

Unless we address and overcome the issue of quantum system decoherence, we will not be able to build quantum computers that solve new complex and important problems. The same applies to quantum sensors with the range of sensitivity needed to address long-standing questions in many fields of science, said SQMS Center Director Anna Grassellino of Fermilab. Overcoming this crucial limitation would allow us to have a great impact in the life sciences, biology, medicine, and national security, and enable measurements of incomparable precision and sensitivity in basic science.

The SQMS Centers ambitious goals in computing and sensing are driven by Fermilabs achievement of world-leading coherence times in components called superconducting cavities, which were developed for particle accelerators used in Fermilabs particle physics experiments. Researchers have expanded the use of Fermilab cavities into the quantum regime.

We have the most coherent by a factor of more than 200 3-D superconducting cavities in the world, which will be turned into quantum processors with unprecedented performance by combining them with Rigettis state-of-the-art planar structures, said Fermilab scientist Alexander Romanenko, SQMS technology thrust leader and Fermilab SRF program manager. This long coherence would not only enable qubits to be long-lived, but it would also allow them to be all connected to each other, opening qualitatively new opportunities for applications.

The SQMS Centers goals in computing and sensing are driven by Fermilabs achievement of world-leading coherence times in components called superconducting cavities, which were developed for particle accelerators used in Fermilabs particle physics experiments. Photo: Reidar Hahn, Fermilab

To advance the coherence even further, SQMS collaborators will launch a materials-science investigation of unprecedented scale to gain insights into the fundamental limiting mechanisms of cavities and qubits, working to understand the quantum properties of superconductors and other materials used at the nanoscale and in the microwave regime.

Now is the time to harness the strengths of the DOE laboratories and partners to identify the underlying mechanisms limiting quantum devices in order to push their performance to the next level for quantum computing and sensing applications, said SQMS Chief Engineer Matt Kramer, Ames Laboratory.

Northwestern University, Ames Laboratory, Fermilab, Rigetti Computing, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics and several universities are partnering to contribute world-class materials science and superconductivity expertise to target sources of decoherence.

SQMS partner Rigetti Computing will provide crucial state-of-the-art qubit fabrication and full stack quantum computing capabilities required for building the SQMS quantum computer.

By partnering with world-class experts, our work will translate ground-breaking science into scalable superconducting quantum computing systems and commercialize capabilities that will further the energy, economic and national security interests of the United States, said Rigetti Computing CEO Chad Rigetti.

SQMS will also partner with the NASA Ames Research Center quantum group, led by SQMS Chief Scientist Eleanor Rieffel. Their strengths in quantum algorithms, programming and simulation will be crucial to use the quantum processors developed by the SQMS Center.

The Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics has been successfully collaborating with Fermilab for more than 40 years and is excited to be a member of the extraordinary SQMS team, said INFN President Antonio Zoccoli. With its strong know-how in detector development, cryogenics and environmental measurements, including the Gran Sasso national laboratories, the largest underground laboratory in the world devoted to fundamental physics, INFN looks forward to exciting joint progress in fundamental physics and in quantum science and technology.

Fermilab is excited to host this National Quantum Information Science Research Center and work with this extraordinary network of collaborators, said Fermilab Director Nigel Lockyer. This initiative aligns with Fermilab and its mission. It will help us answer important particle physics questions, and, at the same time, we will contribute to advancements in quantum information science with our strengths in particle accelerator technologies, such as superconducting radio-frequency devices and cryogenics.

We are thankful and honored to have this unique opportunity to be a national center for advancing quantum science and technology, Grassellino said. We have a focused mission: build something revolutionary. This center brings together the right expertise and motivation to accomplish that mission.

The Superconducting Quantum Materials and Systems Center at Fermilab is supported by the DOE Office of Science.

Fermilab is supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy. The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit

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The future of artificial intelligence and quantum computing – Military & Aerospace Electronics

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NASHUA, N.H. -Until the 21st Century, artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum computers were largely the stuff of science fiction, although quantum theory and quantum mechanics had been around for about a century. A century of great controversy, largely because Albert Einstein rejected quantum theory as originally formulated, leading to his famous statement, God does not play dice with the universe.

Today, however, the debate over quantum computing is largely about when not if these kinds of devices will come into full operation. Meanwhile, other forms of quantum technology, such as sensors, already are finding their way into military and civilian applications.

Quantum technology will be as transformational in the 21st Century as harnessing electricity was in the 19th, Michael J. Biercuk, founder and CEO of Q-CTRL Pty Ltd in Sydney, Australia, and professor of Quantum Physics & Quantum Technologies at the University of Sydney, told the U.S. Office of Naval Research in a January 2019 presentation.

On that, there is virtually universal agreement. But when and how remains undetermined.

For example, asked how and when quantum computing eventually may be applied to high-performance embedded computing (HPEC), Tatjana Curcic, program manager for Optimization with Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum devices (ONISQ) of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in Arlington, Va., says its an open question.

Until just recently, quantum computing stood on its own, but as of a few years ago people are looking more and more into hybrid approaches, Curcic says. Im not aware of much work on actually getting quantum computing into HPEC architecture, however. Its definitely not mainstream, probably because its too early.

As to how quantum computing eventually may influence the development, scale, and use of AI, she adds:

Thats another open question. Quantum machine learning is a very active research area, but is quite new. A lot of people are working on that, but its not clear at this time what the results will be. The interface between classical data, which AI is primarily involved with, and quantum computing is still a technical challenge.

Quantum information processing

According to DARPAs ONISQ webpage, the program aims to exploit quantum information processing before fully fault-tolerant quantum computers are realized.This quantum computer based on superconducting qubits is inserted into a dilution refrigerator and cooled to a temperature less than 1 Kelvin. It was built at IBM Research in Zurich.

This effort will pursue a hybrid concept that combines intermediate-sized quantum devices with classical systems to solve a particularly challenging set of problems known as combinatorial optimization. ONISQ seeks to demonstrate the quantitative advantage of quantum information processing by leapfrogging the performance of classical-only systems in solving optimization challenges, the agency states. ONISQ researchers will be tasked with developing quantum systems that are scalable to hundreds or thousands of qubits with longer coherence times and improved noise control.

Researchers will also be required to efficiently implement a quantum optimization algorithm on noisy intermediate-scale quantum devices, optimizing allocation of quantum and classical resources. Benchmarking will also be part of the program, with researchers making a quantitative comparison of classical and quantum approaches. In addition, the program will identify classes of problems in combinatorial optimization where quantum information processing is likely to have the biggest impact. It will also seek to develop methods for extending quantum advantage on limited size processors to large combinatorial optimization problems via techniques such as problem decomposition.

The U.S. government has been the leader in quantum computing research since the founding of the field, but that too is beginning to change.

In the mid-90s, NSA [the U.S. National Security Agency at Fort Meade, Md.] decided to begin on an open academic effort to see if such a thing could be developed. All that research has been conducted by universities for the most part, with a few outliers, such as IBM, says Q-CTRLs Biercuk. In the past five years, there has been a shift toward industry-led development, often in cooperation with academic efforts. Microsoft has partnered with universities all over the world and Google bought a university program. Today many of the biggest hardware developments are coming from the commercial sector.

Quantum computing remains in deep space research, but there are hardware demonstrations all over the world. In the next five years, we expect the performance of these machines to be agented to the point where we believe they will demonstrate a quantum advantage for the first time. For now, however, quantum computing has no advantages over standard computing technology. quantum computers are research demonstrators and do not solve any computing problems at all. Right now, there is no reason to use quantum computers except to be ready when they are truly available.

AI and quantum computing

Nonetheless, the race to develop and deploy AI and quantum computing is global, with the worlds leading military powers seeing them along with other breakthrough technologies like hypersonics making the first to successfully deploy as dominant as the U.S. was following the first detonations of atomic bombs. That is especially true for autonomous mobile platforms, such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), interfacing with those vehicles onboard HPEC.

Of the two, AI is the closest to deployment, but also the most controversial. A growing number of the worlds leading scientists, including the late Stephen Hawking, warn real-world AI could easily duplicate the actions of the fictional Skynet in the Terminator movie series. Launched with total control over the U.S. nuclear arsenal, Skynet became sentient and decided the human race was a dangerous infestation that needed to be destroyed.

The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race. Once humans develop artificial intelligence, it will take off on its own and redesign itself at an ever-increasing rate. Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldnt compete and would be superseded. Stephen Hawking (2014)

Such dangers have been recognized at least as far back as the publication of Isaac Asimovs short story, Runabout, in 1942, which included his Three Laws of Robotics, designed to control otherwise autonomous robots. In the story, the laws were set down in 2058:

First Law A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

Second Law A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

Third Law A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Whether it would be possible to embed and ensure unbreakable compliance with such laws in an AI system is unknown. But limited degrees of AI, known as machine learning, already are in widespread use by the military and advanced stages of the technology, such as deep learning, almost certainly will be deployed by one or more nations as they become available. More than 50 nations already are actively researching battlefield robots.

Military quantum computing

AI-HPEC would give UAVs, next-generation cruise missiles, and even maneuverable ballistic missiles the ability to alter course to new targets at any point after launch, recognize counter measures, avoid, and misdirect or even destroy them.

Quantum computing, on the other hand, is seen by some as providing little, if any, advantage over traditional computer technologies, by many as requiring cooling and size, weight and power (SWaP) improvements not possible with current technologies to make it applicable to mobile platforms and by most as being little more than a research tool for perhaps decades to come.

Perhaps the biggest stumbling block to a mobile platform-based quantum computing is cooling it currently requires a cooling unit, at near absolute zero, the Military trusted computing experts are considering new generations of quantum computing for creating nearly unbreakable encryption for super-secure defense applications.size of a refrigerator to handle a fractional piece of quantum computing.

A lot of work has been done and things are being touted as operational, but the most important thing to understand is this isnt some simple physical thing you throw in suddenly and it works. That makes it harder to call it deployable youre not going to strap a quantum computing to a handheld device. A lot of solutions are still trying to deal with cryogenics and how do you deal with deployment of cryo, says Tammy Carter, senior product manager for GPGPUs and software products at Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions in Ashburn, Va.

AI is now a technology in deployment. Machine learning is pretty much in use worldwide, Carter says. Were in a migration of figuring out how to use it with the systems we have. quantum computing will require a lot of engineering work and demand may not be great enough to push the effort. From a cryogenically cooled electronics perspective, I dont think there is any insurmountable problem. It absolutely can be done, its just a matter of decision making to do it, prioritization to get it done. These are not easily deployed technologies, but certainly can be deployed.

Given its current and expected near-term limitations, research has increased on the development of hybrid systems.

The longer term reality is a hybrid approach, with the quantum system not going mobile any time soon, says Brian Kirby, physicist in the Army Research Laboratory Computational & Informational Sciences Directorate in Adelphi, Md. Its a mistake to forecast a timeline, but Im not sure putting a quantum computing on such systems would be valuable. Having the quantum computing in a fixed location and linked to the mobile platform makes more sense, for now at least. There can be multiple quantum computers throughout the country; while individually they may have trouble solving some problems, networking them would be more secure and able to solve larger problems.

Broadly, however, quantum computing cant do anything a practical home computer cant do, but can potentially solve certain problems more efficiently, Kirby continues. So youre looking at potential speed-up, but there is no problem a quantum computing can solve a normal computer cant. Beyond the basics of code-breaking and quantum simulations affecting material design, right now we cant necessarily predict military applications.

Raising concerns

In some ways similar to AI, quantum computing raises nearly as many concerns as it does expectations, especially in the area of security. The latest Thales Data Threat Report says 72 percent of surveyed security experts worldwide believe quantum computing will have a negative impact on data security within the next five years.

At the same time, quantum computing is forecast to offer more robust cryptography and security solutions. For HPEC, that duality is significant: quantum computing can make it more difficult to break the security of mobile platforms, while simultaneously making it easier to do just that.

Quantum computers that can run Shors algorithm [leveraging quantum properties to factor very large numbers efficiently] are expected to become available in the next decade. These algorithms can be used to break conventional digital signature schemes (e.g. RSA or ECDSA), which are widely used in embedded systems today. This puts these systems at risk when they are used in safety-relevant long-term applications, such as automotive systems or critical infrastructures. To mitigate this risk, classical digital signature schemes used must be replaced by schemes secure against quantum computing-based attacks, according to the August 2019 proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Availability, Reliability & Securitys Post-Quantum Cryptography in Embedded Systems report.

The security question is not quite so clean-cut as armor/anti-armor, but there is a developing bifurcation between defensive and offensive applications. On the defense side, deployed quantum systems are looked at to provide encoded communications. Experts say it seems likely the level of activity in China about quantum communications, which has been a major focus for years, runs up against the development of quantum computing in the U.S. The two aspects are not clearly one-against-one, but the two moving independently.

Googles quantum supremacy demonstration has led to a rush on finding algorithms robust against quantum attack. On the quantum communications side, the development of attacks on such systems has been underway for years, leading to a whole field of research based on identifying and exploiting quantum attacks.

Quantum computing could also help develop revolutionary AI systems. Recent efforts have demonstrated a strong and unexpected link between quantum computation and artificial neural networks, potentially portending new approaches to machine learning. Such advances could lead to vastly improved pattern recognition, which in turn would permit far better machine-based target identification. For example, the hidden submarine in our vast oceans may become less-hidden in a world with AI-empowered quantum computers, particularly if they are combined with vast data sets acquired through powerful quantum-enabled sensors, according to Q-CTRLs Biercuk.

Even the relatively mundane near-term development of new quantum-enhanced clocks may impact security, beyond just making GPS devices more accurate, Biercuk continues. Quantum-enabled clocks are so sensitive that they can discern minor gravitational anomalies from a distance. They thus could be deployed by military personnel to detect underground, hardened structures, submarines or hidden weapons systems. Given their potential for remote sensing, advanced clocks may become a key embedded technology for tomorrows warfighter.

Warfighter capabilities

The early applications of quantum computing, while not embedded on mobile platforms, are expected to enhance warfighter capabilities significantly.

Jim Clark, director of quantum hardware at Intel Corp. in Santa Clara, Calif., shows one of the companys quantum processors.There is a high likelihood quantum computing will impact ISR [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance], solving logistics problems more quickly. But so much of this is in the basic research stage. While we know the types of problems and general application space, optimization problems will be some of the first where we will see advantages from quantum computing, says Sara Gamble, quantum information sciences program manager at ARL.

Biercuk says he agrees: Were not really sure there is a role for quantum computing in embedded computing just yet. quantum computing is right now very large systems embedded in mainframes, with access by the cloud. You can envision embedded computing accessing quantum computing via the cloud, but they are not likely to be very small, agile processors you would embed in a SWAP-constrained environment.

But there are many aspects of quantum technology beyond quantum computing; the combination of quantum sensors could allow much better detection in the field, Biercuk continues. The biggest potential impact comes in the areas of GPS denial, which has become one of the biggest risk factors identified in every blueprint around the world. quantum computing plays directly into this to perform dead reckoning navigation in GPS denial areas.

DARPAs Curcic also says the full power of quantum computing is still decades away, but believes ONISQ has the potential to help speed its development.

The main two approaches industry is using is superconducting quantum computing and trapped ions. We use both of those, plus cold atoms [Rydberg atoms]. We are very excited about ONISQ and seeing if we can get anything useful over classical computing. Four teams are doing hardware development with those three approaches, she says.

Because these are noisy systems, its very difficult to determine if there will be any advantages. The hope is we can address the optimization problem faster than today, which is what were working on with ONISQ. Optimization problems are everywhere, so even a small improvement would be valuable.

Beyond todays capabilities

As to how quantum computing and AI may impact future warfare, especially through HPEC, she adds: I have no doubt quantum computing will be revolutionary and well be able to do things beyond todays capabilities. The possibilities are pretty much endless, but what they are is not crystal clear at this point. Its very difficult, with great certainly, to predict what quantum computing will be able to do. Well just have to build and try. Thats why today is such an exciting time.

Curtiss Wrights Carter says he believes quantum computing and AI will be closely linked with HPEC in the future, once current limitations with both are resolved.

AI itself is based on a lot of math being done in parallel for probability answers, similar to modeling the neurons in the brain highly interconnected nodes and interdependent math calculations. Imagine a small device trying to recognize handwriting, Carter says. You run every pixel of that through lots and lots of math, combining and mixing, cutting some, amplifying others, until you get a 98 percent answer at the other end. quantum computing could help with that and researchers are looking at how you would do that, using a different level of parallel math.

How quantum computing will be applied to HPEC will be the big trick, how to get that deployed. Imagine were a SIGINT [signals intelligence] platform land, air or sea there are a lot of challenges, such as picking the right signal out of the air, which is not particularly easy, Carter continues. Once you achieve pattern recognition, you want to do code breaking to get that encrypted traffic immediately. Getting that on a deployed platform could be useful; otherwise you bring your data back to a quantum computing in a building, but that means you dont get the results immediately.

The technology research underway today is expected to show progress toward making quantum computing more applicable to military needs, but it is unlikely to produce major results quickly, especially in the area of HPEC.

Trapped ions and superconducting circuits still require a lot of infrastructure to make them work. Some teams are working on that problem, but the systems still remain room-sized. The idea of quantum computing being like an integrated circuit you just put on a circuit board were a very long way from that, Biercuk says. The systems are getting smaller, more compact, but there is a very long way to go to deployable, embeddable systems. Position, navigation and timing systems are being reduced and can be easily deployed on aircraft. Thats probably where the technology will remain in the next 20 years; but, eventually, with new technology development, quantum computing may be reduced to more mobile sizes.

The next 10 years are about achieving quantum advantage with the systems available now or iterations. Despite the acceleration we have seen, there are things that are just hard and require a lot of creativity, Biercuk continues. Were shrinking the hardware, but that hardware still may not be relevant to any deployable system. In 20 years, we may have machines that can do the work required, but in that time we may only be able to shrink them to a size that can fit on an aircraft carrier local code-breaking engines. To miniaturize this technology to put it on, say, a body-carried system, we just dont have any technology basis to claim we will get there even in 20 years. Thats open to creativity and discovery.

Even with all of the research underway worldwide, one question remains dominant.

The general challenge is it is not clear what we will use quantum computing for, notes Rad Balu, a computer scientist in ARLs Computational & Informational Sciences Directorate.

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Maintaining qubits stable will be the pivot to realizing the potential of quantum computing, and now researchers have managed to discover a new obstacle to this stability: natural radiation.

Natural or background radiation is produced by various sources, both natural and artificial. Cosmic rays produce natural radiation, for instance, and so do concrete buildings. It is surrounding us all the time, and so this poses something of an issue for future quantum computers.

After numerous experiments that modified the level of natural radiation around qubits, physicists could establish that this background noise does indeed push qubits off balance in a way that hinders them from operating properly.

Our study is the first to show clearly that low-level ionizing radiation in the environment degrades the performance of superconducting qubits,says physicist John Orrell, from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). These findings suggest that radiation shielding will be necessary to attain long-sought performance in quantum computers of this design.

Natural radiation is under no circumstance the most important or the only menace to qubit stability, which is basically known as coherence; everything from temperature variations to electromagnetic fields is able to mess with the qubit.

However, scientists say if were to attain a future where quantum computers are performing most of our advanced computing needs, then this hindrance from natural radiation is going to have to be addressed.

After the team that carried out the study was faced with issues regarding superconducting qubit decoherence, it decided to examine the possible problem with natural radiation. They discovered it breaks up a main quantum binding known as theCooper pairof electrons.

The radiation breaks apart matched pairs of electrons that typically carry electric current without resistance in a superconductor,says physicist Brent VanDevender, from PNNL. The resistance of those unpaired electrons destroys the delicately prepared state of a qubit.

Regular computers can be distorted by the same issues that impact qubits, but quantum states are a lot more delicate and sensitive. One of the reasons that we dont have authentic full-scale quantum computers at the moment is that theres no way yet to keep qubits stable for more than a few milliseconds at a time.

If we can develop on that, the benefits when it comes to computing power could be gigantic: while classical computer bits can only be set as 1 or 0, qubits can be set as 1,0, or both at the same time, a state known assuperposition.

Researchers have managed to get it happening, but only for a very short period, and in an extremely controlled setting. The good news, however, is that scientists like those at PNNL are dedicated to the challenge of discovering how to make quantum computers a reality, and with the new finding, we know a bit more about what weve to overcome.

Practical quantum computing with these devices will not be possible unless we address the radiation issue,says VanDevender. Without mitigation, radiation will limit the coherence time of superconducting qubits to a few milliseconds, which is insufficient for practical quantum computing.

A paper detailing the research has been published in the journalNature.

Known for her passion for writing, Paula contributes to both Science and Health niches here at Dual Dove.

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Quantum Cryptography Market Research Analysis Including Growth Factors, Types And Application By Regions From 2024 – Kentucky Journal 24

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Quantum cryptographyis a new method for secret communications that provides the assurance of security of digital data. Quantum cryptography is primarily based on the usage of individual particles/waves of light (photon) and their essential quantum properties for the development of an unbreakable cryptosystem, primarily because it is impossible to measure the quantum state of any system without disturbing that system.

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It is hypothetically possible that other particles could be used, but photons offer all the necessary qualities needed, the their behavior is comparatively understandable, and they are the information carriers in optical fiber cables, the most promising medium for very high-bandwidth communications.

Quantum computing majorly focuses on the growing computer technology that is built on the platform of quantum theory which provides the description about the nature and behavior of energy and matter at quantum level. The fame of quantum mechanics in cryptography is growing because they are being used extensively in the encryption of information. Quantum cryptography allows the transmission of the most critical data at the most secured level, which in turn, propels the growth of the quantum computing market. Quantum computing has got a huge array of applications.

Market Analysis:

According to Infoholic Research, the Global Quantum cryptography Market is expected to reach $1.53 billion by 2023, growing at a CAGR of around 26.13% during the forecast period. The market is experiencing growth due to the increase in the data security and privacy concerns. In addition, with the growth in the adoption of cloud storage and computing technologies is driving the market forward. However, low customer awareness about quantum cryptography is hindering the market growth. The rising demands for security solutions across different verticals is expected to create lucrative opportunities for the market.

Market Segmentation Analysis:

The report provides a wide-ranging evaluation of the market. It provides in-depth qualitative insights, historical data, and supportable projections and assumptions about the market size. The projections featured in the report have been derived using proven research methodologies and assumptions based on the vendors portfolio, blogs, whitepapers, and vendor presentations. Thus, the research report serves every side of the market and is segmented based on regional markets, type, applications, and end-users.

Countries and Vertical Analysis:

The report contains an in-depth analysis of the vendor profiles, which include financial health, business units, key business priorities, SWOT, strategy, and views; and competitive landscape. The prominent vendors covered in the report include ID Quantique, MagiQ Technologies, Nucrypt, Infineon Technologies, Qutools, QuintenssenceLabs, Crypta Labs, PQ Solutions, and Qubitekk and others. The vendors have been identified based on the portfolio, geographical presence, marketing & distribution channels, revenue generation, and significant investments in R&D.

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Competitive Analysis

The report covers and analyzes the global intelligent apps market. Various strategies, such as joint ventures, partnerships,collaborations, and contracts, have been considered. In addition, as customers are in search of better solutions, there is expected to be a rising number of strategic partnerships for better product development. There is likely to be an increase in the number of mergers, acquisitions, and strategic partnerships during the forecast period.

Companies such as Nucrypt, Crypta Labs, Qutools, and Magiq Technologies are the key players in the global Quantum Cryptography market. Nucrypt has developed technologies for emerging applications in metrology and communication. The company has also produced and manufactured electronic and optical pulsers. In addition, Crypta Labs deals in application security for devices. The company deals in Quantum Random Number Generator products and solutions and Internet of Things (IoT). The major sectors the company is looking at are transport, military and medical.

The report includes the complete insight of the industry, and aims to provide an opportunity for the emerging and established players to understand the market trends, current scenario, initiatives taken by the government, and the latest technologies related to the market. In addition, it helps the venture capitalists in understanding the companies better and to take informed decisions.

Regional Analysis

The Americas held the largest chunk of market share in 2017 and is expected to dominate the quantum cryptography market during the forecast period. The region has always been a hub for high investments in research and development (R&D) activities, thus contributing to the development of new technologies. The growing concerns for the security of IT infrastructure and complex data in America have directed the enterprises in this region to adopt quantum cryptography and reliable authentication solutions.

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The report provides an in-depth analysis of the global intelligent apps market aiming to reduce the time to market the products and services, reduce operational cost, improve accuracy, and operational performance. With the help of quantum cryptography, various organizations can secure their crucial information, and increase productivity and efficiency. In addition, the solutions are proven to be reliable and improve scalability. The report discusses the types, applications, and regions related to this market. Further, the report provides details about the major challenges impacting the market growth.

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