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Is this the first physics problem that the quantum computer will solve? – Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI)

§ July 4th, 2021 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on Is this the first physics problem that the quantum computer will solve? – Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI)

Joris Kattemlle (UvA/QuSoft/CWI) proposes a physical problem that could be the first one for a quantum computer with 100 qubits to solve. On Wednesday 30 June Kattemlle defended his PhD thesis.

In his PhD thesis, theoretical physicist Joris Kattemlle (UvA/QuSoft/CWI) proposes a physical problem that could be the first one for a quantum computer to solve. The problem cannot be solved by a classical computer, but a quantum computer with about one hundred quantum bits can. On Wednesday 30 June Kattemlle received a doctorate from the University of Amsterdam for his PhD thesis entitled 'Many-body physics meets quantum computation'.

A quantum computer can solve problems that a classical computer would never be able to calculate. Current quantum computers only exist in a few large research labs around the world and count at most a few dozen quantum bits, the elementary calculation units of the revolutionary new computer. In 2019, Google demonstrated a quantum computer consisting of 53 quantum bits that solved a problem that a classical computer cannot solve. This became world news, despite the fact that it was a toy problem with no applications.

In his doctoral thesis, theoretical physicist Joris Kattemlle describes a problem that is interesting for physicists to solve, one that cannot be solved by a classical computer but can be solved with only around one hundred quantum bits. And a quantum computer consisting of one hundred quantum bits is already in sight.

The problem that Kattemlle proposes is called the kagome lattice (kagome is a Japanese word for a certain weaving pattern that looks exactly like the lattice). Reproducing this lattice on a computer can provide new insights into the behaviour of solids found in nature. For example, the kagome lattice describes the magnetic properties of the mineral Herbertsmithite, which was discovered by Herbert Smith in Chile in 1972. The mineral has no specific applications but is an interesting object for physicists to study in order to understand all possible behaviours of atoms and molecules in solids.

The most exciting aspect of the kagome lattice is that it is a promising candidate for proving that there is a new kind of magnetism: a so-called quantum spin liquid (a new kind of disordered magnetic state in which there is no order in the direction of the elementary magnets, as there is, for example, in a ferromagnet, where all the elementary magnets point in the same direction). Physicists think that a quantum spin liquid exists, but have never proven it or found it experimentally. In his thesis, Kattemlle has shown that the kagome problem has exactly the right properties that make it very suitable to be solved with a quantum computer.

The thread running through Kattemlles thesis is the interaction between many-particle physics (which, for example, explains why electrical conduction only occurs with many electrons and not with a single electron) and the quantum computer. A many-particle problem that some physicists believe is a practical obstacle to the construction of a quantum computer is super-noise. Super-noise is the phenomenon that the noise of all quantum bits combined is greater than the sum of the noise of all individual quantum bits. In his thesis, Kattemlle, in addition to his work on the kagome lattice, also demonstrated that this super-noise does not pose any practical problem for the construction of a future quantum computer.

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This Week’s Awesome Tech Stories From Around the Web (Through July 3) – Singularity Hub

§ July 4th, 2021 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on This Week’s Awesome Tech Stories From Around the Web (Through July 3) – Singularity Hub

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

GitHub and OpenAI Launch a New AI Tool That Generates Its Own Code Dave Gershgorn | The Verge Copilot is built on a new algorithm called OpenAI Codex, which OpenAI CTO Greg Brockmandescribes as a descendant of GPT-3. While GPT-3 generates English, OpenAI Codex generates code. Codex was trained on terabytes of openly available code pulled from GitHub, as well as English language examples.

This Quantum Computer Is Sized for Server Rooms Charles Q. Choi | IEEE Spectrum A new 24-qubit trapped-ion option can fit in two server racks. [Thomas] Monz notes they could make their quantum computer even more compact. I dont see why we shouldnt be able to get it down to a larger desktop PC level, or maybe two of them, in terms of volume, he says. Indeed, the device could become mobilein particular, due to the low power consumption.i

WHO Says China Has Eliminated Malaria Sui-Lee Wee | The New York Times The World Health Organization declared Chinafree of malaria on Wednesday after a seven-decade campaign against the disease, which has killed hundreds of thousands of people in the country. The achievement is a major milestone for the worlds most populous nationChina is the first country in the WHO Western Pacific region to be awarded a malaria-free certification in more than three decades.

Mercury 13 Legend Wally Funk Will Ride With Jeff Bezos to the Edge of Space Joey Roulette | The Verge Funk, 82, was aniconic aviator in the mid-20th centuryand one of 13 women to graduate from the privately fundedWomen in Space Program, where she underwent rigorous astronaut training but was ultimately never able to go to space. When NASA opened its astronaut applications up to women in 1976, Funk applied three times but was turned down each time. Funks space enthusiasm hasnt died.

Boston Dynamics Spot Robot Challenges BTS to a Boy Band Dance-Off in Latest Video Chaim Gartenberg | The Verge Hyundai has officially completed its acquisition of Boston Dynamics, the creator of the internets favorite dancing Spot and Atlas robots (which only occasionally look likedystopian nightmare machines). And to celebrate, the company iscollaborating with K-pop sensation BTS on a new video that shows seven Spot robots grooving to the bands 2020 song IONIQ: Im On It.i

Heres What a Falcon 9 Looks Like After 8 Flights to Space in a Year Eric Berger | Ars Technica SpaceXs Falcon 9 rocket has gone through a stunning transformation over the last year. The Transporter-2 mission launched Wednesday carried several dozen small satellites, but the overall payload mass was low enough that the booster could carry enough fuel to return to a landing site near the launch site. This means our photographer, Trevor Mahlmann, was able to get excellent photographs of both the launch and landing.

At First I Though This Is Crazy: The Real-Life Plan to Use Novels to Predict the Next War Philip Oltermann | The Guardian iCassandra promised to register disturbances five to seven years in advancethat was something new. [The German defense ministry] wanted Wertheimers team to develop a method for converting literary insights into hard facts that could be used by military strategists or operatives: emotional maps of crisis regions, especially in Africa and the Middle East, that measured the rise of violent language in chronological order.i

Can the Most Exciting New Solar Material Live Up to Its Hype? Casey Crownhart | MIT Technology Review Perovskite promises to be less expensive and more efficient than siliconand several companies say theyre close to producing it at scale. But the materials instability has threatened to derail their path to rooftops and power plants. Though a few companies say theyve solved the challenge, at least well enough to bring preliminary products to market within the year, some researchers are still skeptical.

The Internet Is Rotting Jonathan Zittrain | The Atlantic The glue that holds humanitys knowledge together is coming undone. By making the storage and organization of information everyones responsibility and no ones, the internet and web could grow, unprecedentedly expanding access, while making any and all of it fragile rather than robust in many instances in which we depend on it.

Image Credit: Sasha Yudaev / Unsplash

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IBM’s first quantum computer outside of the US has just gone live – ZDNet

§ June 20th, 2021 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on IBM’s first quantum computer outside of the US has just gone live – ZDNet

Fraunhofer Institute have just unveiled the Quantum System One, the country's first superconducting quantum computer built by IBM.

Five years after IBM made its first five-qubit quantum processor available for users to access over the cloud, the company is now showing off the first quantum computer that it has physically built outside of its New York-based data centers.

All the way across the Atlantic, scientists from Germany's Fraunhofer Institute have just unveiled the IBM Quantum System One the country's first superconducting quantum computer that Big Blue was contracted to build especially for the organization.

The device, which contains one of IBM's 27-qubit Falcon processors, came online a few weeks ago and has already been made available to Fraunhofer's scientists and some of the institute's partners. German academics and organizations outside of Fraunhofer will, from now on, be welcome to arrange monthly contracts to use the computer too for research, education and training purposes.

Fraunhofer's partnership with IBM was signed last year, marking the start of a global expansion for Big Blue's quantum hardware. The company released the Quantum System One in 2019, pitching it as the world's first commercial quantum computer; but until now, users have only accessed the device over the cloud, by connecting to IBM's Quantum Computation Center located in Poughkeepsie, New York.

SEE: Building the bionic brain (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Physically bringing the hardware to a new location for the first time was never going to be easy and the global COVID-19 pandemic only added some extra hurdles. Typically, explains Bob Sutor, chief quantum exponent at IBM, the company would've shipped some key parts and a team of in-house specialists to Germany to assemble the quantum computer, but the pandemic meant that this time, everything had to be done remotely.

IBM's engineers had to rely on NASA-inspired methods of remote assembly. "How do you train people that are thousands of miles away, when you can't just run up to them and say: 'Do this'?" Sutor tells ZDNet. "We had to train local teams remotely and work with them remotely to assemble everything and get this machine running. We developed new techniques to actually put these systems around the world without travelling there. And it worked."

To train German engineers from the local IBM development lab, Sutor's team put together a virtual course in quantum assembly. From installing the computer's refrigeration system to manipulating the Falcon processor, no detail was left out and the device successfully launched in line with the original schedule.

For Fraunhofer, this means that the institute and its partners will now have access to a leading-edge quantum computer built exclusively for German organizations, instead of relying on cloud access to US-based systems.

Since the partnership was announced, the institute has been busy investigating potential applications of quantum computing and designing quantum algorithms that might show an advantage over computations carried out with classical computing.

This is because quantum computing is nascent, and despite the huge potential that researchers are anticipating, much of the technology's promise is still theoretical. Existing quantum processors like IBM's Falcon come with too few qubits and too high an error-rate to resolve large-scale problems that are relevant to businesses. The research effort, therefore, consists of spotting the use-cases that might be suited to the technology once the hardware is ready.

"For users, they need to get in now, they need to understand what quantum computers are, what they're useful for and what are viable approaches using quantum computers that will get them an advantage over using classical computing," says Sutor.

At Fraunhofer, researchers have been looking at a variety of applications ranging from portfolio optimization in finance to logistics planning for manufacturers, through error correction protocols that could improve critical infrastructure and molecular simulation to push chemistry and materials discovery.

Working in partnership with the German Aerospace Center, for example, the institute has been conducting research to find out if quantum algorithmscould simulate electro-chemical processes within energy storage system which, in turn, could help design batteries and fuel cells with better performance and more energy density.

For Annkatrin Sommer, research coordinator at Fraunhofer, the choice of IBM as a quantum partner was a no-brainer. "We really wanted to go for cutting-edge technology where you have the ability to start developing algorithms as fast as possible," she tells ZDNet.

IBM's offer in quantum computing has some significant strengths. Since the release of its first cloud-based quantum processor, the company now has made over 20 Quantum System One machines available, which are accessed by more than 145 organizations around the world. Two billion quantum circuits are established daily with the cloud processors, and IBM is on track to break a trillion circuits before the end of the summer.

The Falcon processors used in the Quantum System One are 27 qubits, but the company is working in parallel on a chip called Hummingbird, which has 65 qubits. Big Blue recentlypublished a quantum hardware roadmapin which it pledged to achieve over 1,000 qubits by 2023 enough to start seeing the early results of quantum computing. Ultimately, IBM is aiming to produce a million-qubit quantum system.

"If I were to throw out a toy system and say: 'Here you go, play, I don't know if it'll ever get better' no one would care," says Sutor. "People need confidence that the machines and the software and apps on them will reasonably quickly be able to do work better than just classical computers."

For an institute like Fraunhofer, the rapid scaling of quantum technologies that IBM is promising is appealing. And the German organization is not alone in placing its bets on Big Blue. This year will also see an IBM Quantum System One installed in Japanas part of a partnership with the University of Tokyo; and back in the US, the Cleveland Clinichas just placed a $500 million order for IBM to build quantum hardware on-premises.

But despite IBM's credentials, Fraunhofer's research team is also keen to stress that it is too early to tell which approach or approaches to quantum computing will show results first. The industry is expanding fast, and withnew companies jumping on the quantum bandwagon every so often, it is hard to differentiate between hype and reality.

This is why, in addition to investing in IBM's superconducting qubits, Fraunhofer is also investigating the use of different approaches like ion traps or diamond.

"Currently, it's not clear which technology will be the best," says Sommer, "and we will probably have different technologies working in parallel for different use cases. It makes sense to start projects with different approaches and after some time, measure how far you got and if you reached your goals. Then, you decide with which technology you should proceed."

It remains that Germany's shiny new Quantum System One puts the country in a favorable position to compete in what isincreasingly shaping up to become a global race to lead in quantum computing.

The German government has already launched a 2 billion ($2.4 billion) funding program for the promotion of quantum technologies in the country, which comes in addition to the European Commission's 1 billion ($1.20 billion) quantum flagship.

Meanwhile, in the US, a $1.2 billion budget was allocated to the National Quantum Initiative Act in 2018. And China, for its part,has made no secret of its ambition to become a leading quantum superpower.

The UK government has also invested a total 1 billion ($1.37 billion) in a National Quantum Technologies Programme. In the next few years, the country is hoping to follow Germany's lead andlaunch its very first commercial quantum computer, which will be built by California-based company Rigetti Computing.

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Clearing the way toward robust quantum computing – MIT News

§ June 20th, 2021 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on Clearing the way toward robust quantum computing – MIT News

MIT researchers have made a significant advance on the road toward the full realization of quantum computation, demonstrating a technique that eliminates common errors in the most essential operation of quantum algorithms, the two-qubit operation or gate.

Despite tremendous progress toward being able to perform computations with low error rates with superconducting quantum bits (qubits), errors in two-qubit gates, one of the building blocks of quantum computation, persist, says Youngkyu Sung, an MIT graduate student in electrical engineering and computer science who is the lead author of a paper on this topic published today in Physical Review X. We have demonstrated a way to sharply reduce those errors.

In quantum computers, the processing of information is an extremely delicate process performed by the fragile qubits, which are highly susceptible to decoherence, the loss of their quantum mechanical behavior. In previous research conducted by Sung and the research group he works with, MIT Engineering Quantum Systems, tunable couplers were proposed, allowing researchers to turn two-qubit interactions on and off to control their operations while preserving the fragile qubits. The tunable coupler idea represented a significant advance and was cited, for example, by Google as being key to their recent demonstration of the advantage that quantum computing holds over classical computing.

Still, addressing error mechanisms is like peeling an onion: Peeling one layer reveals the next. In this case, even when using tunable couplers, the two-qubit gates were still prone to errors that resulted from residual unwanted interactions between the two qubits and between the qubits and the coupler. Such unwanted interactions were generally ignored prior to tunable couplers, as they did not stand out but now they do. And, because such residual errors increase with the number of qubits and gates, they stand in the way of building larger-scale quantum processors. The Physical Review X paper provides a new approach to reduce such errors.

We have now taken the tunable coupler concept further and demonstrated near 99.9 percent fidelity for the two major types of two-qubit gates, known as Controlled-Z gates and iSWAP gates, says William D. Oliver, an associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science, MIT Lincoln Laboratory fellow, director of the Center for Quantum Engineering, and associate director of the Research Laboratory of Electronics, home of the Engineering Quantum Systems group. Higher-fidelity gates increase the number of operations one can perform, and more operations translates to implementing more sophisticated algorithms at larger scales.

To eliminate the error-provoking qubit-qubit interactions, the researchers harnessed higher energy levels of the coupler to cancel out the problematic interactions. In previous work, such energy levels of the coupler were ignored, although they induced non-negligible two-qubit interactions.

Better control and design of the coupler is a key to tailoring the qubit-qubit interaction as we desire. This can be realized by engineering the multilevel dynamics that exist, Sung says.

The next generation of quantum computers will be error-corrected, meaning that additional qubits will be added to improve the robustness of quantum computation.

Qubit errors can be actively addressed by adding redundancy, says Oliver, pointing out, however, that such a process only works if the gates are sufficiently good above a certain fidelity threshold that depends on the error correction protocol. The most lenient thresholds today are around 99 percent. However, in practice, one seeks gate fidelities that are much higher than this threshold to live with reasonable levels of hardware redundancy.

The devices used in the research, made at MITs Lincoln Laboratory, were fundamental to achieving the demonstrated gains in fidelity in the two-qubit operations, Oliver says.

Fabricating high-coherence devices is step one to implementing high-fidelity control, he says.

Sung says high rates of error in two-qubit gates significantly limit the capability of quantum hardware to run quantum applications that are typically hard to solve with classical computers, such as quantum chemistry simulation and solving optimization problems.

Up to this point, only small molecules have been simulated on quantum computers, simulations that can easily be performed on classical computers.

In this sense, our new approach to reduce the two-qubit gate errors is timely in the field of quantum computation and helps address one of the most critical quantum hardware issues today, he says.

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Here’s How Quantum Computers Will Really Affect Cryptocurrencies – Forbes

§ June 20th, 2021 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on Here’s How Quantum Computers Will Really Affect Cryptocurrencies – Forbes

Cryptocurrency

Theres been a lot of focus recently on encryption within the context of cryptocurrencies. Taproot being implemented in bitcoin has led to more cryptographic primitives that make the bitcoin network more secure and private. Its major upgrade from a privacy standpoint is to make it impossible to distinguish between multi-signature and single-signature transactions. This will, for example, make it impossible to tell which transactions involve the opening of Lightning Network channels versus regular base layer transactions. The shift from ECDSA signatures to Schnorr signatures involves changes and upgrades in cryptography.

Yet these cryptographic primitives might need to shift or transition in the face of new computers such as quantum computers. If you go all the way back down to how these technologies work, they are built from unsolved mathematical problems something humans havent found a way to reduce down to our brains capacity for creativity yet limited memory retrieval, or a computers way of programmed memory retrieval. Solving those problems can create dramatic breaks in current technologies.

I sat down with Dr. Jol Alwen, the chief cryptographer of Wickr, the encrypted chat app, to talk about post-quantum encryption and how evolving encryption standards will affect cryptocurrencies. Heres a summary of the insights:

Despite all of the marketing hype around quantum computing and quantum supremacy, the world isnt quite at the stage where the largest (publicly disclosed) quantum computer can meaningfully break current encryption standards. That may happen in the future, but commercially available quantum computers now cannot meaningfully dent the encryption standards cryptocurrencies are built on.

Quantum computer and encryption experts are not communicating with one another as much as they should. This means that discrete advances in quantum computing may happen with a slight lag in how encryption would operate. Its been the case that nation-states, such as China, have been going dark on research related to quantum this has the effect of clouding whether or not serious attempts can be made on the encryption standards of today, and disguising the sudden or eventual erosion of encryption a sudden break that might mean devastation for cryptocurrencies and other industries that rely on cryptography.

Its been known that many encryption schemes that defeat classical computers may not be able to defeat a sufficiently powerful quantum computer. Grovers algorithm is an example. This is a known problem and with the continued development of quantum computers, will likely be a significant problem in a matter of time.

Encryption standards being diluted now is not only a risk for the future, but also an attack on the conversations and transactions people will have to remain private in the past as well. Past forms of encryption that people relied upon would be lost the privacy they assumed in the past would be lost as well.

Cryptographic primitives are baked into cryptocurrencies regardless of their consensus algorithm. A sudden shift in encryption standards will damage the ability for proof-of-work miners or those looking to demonstrate the cryptographic proof that theyve won the right to broadcast transactions in the case of proof-of-stake designs such as the one proposed by Ethereum. Digital signatures are the common point of vulnerability here, as well as the elliptic curve cryptography used to protect private keys.

Everything here breaks if the digital signatures are no longer valid anybody with access to public keys could then spend amounts on other peoples behalf. Wallet ownership would be up for grabs. says Dr. Alwen. Proof-of-work or proof-of-stake as a consensus algorithm would be threatened as well in all cases, the proof would no longer be valid and have it be authenticated with digital signatures anybody could take anybody elses blocks.

While proof-of-work blocks would have some protection due to the increasingly specialized hardware (ASICs) being manufactured specifically for block mining, both systems would have vulnerabilities if their underlying encryption scheme were weakened. Hashing might be less threatened but quantum compute threatens key ownership and the authenticity of the system itself.

Post-quantum encryption is certainly possible, and a shift towards it can and should be proactive. Theres real stuff we can do. Dr. Alwen says here. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies may take some time to move on this issue, so any preparatory work should be regarded as important, from looking at benefits and costs you can get a lot of mileage out of careful analysis.

Its helped here by the fact that there is a good bottleneck in a sense: there are only really two or three types of cryptographic techniques that need replacement. Digital signatures and key agreement are the two areas that need the focus. Patching these two areas will help the vast majority of vulnerabilities that might come from quantum computation.

Its important to note that a sudden and critical break in encryption would affect other industries as well and each might have different reasons why an attack would be more productive or they might be more slow to react. Yet if there were a revolution tomorrow, this would pose a clear and direct threat to the decentralization and security promises inherent in cryptocurrencies. Because of how important encryption and signatures are to cryptocurrencies, its probable that cryptocurrency communities will have many more debates before or after a sudden break, but time would be of the essence in this scenario. Yet, since encryption is such a critical part of cryptocurrencies, there is hope that the community will be more agile than traditional industries on this point.

If a gap of a few years is identified before this break happens, a soft fork or hard fork that the community rallies around can mitigate this threat along with new clients. But it requires proactive changes and in-built resistance, as well as keeping a close eye on post-quantum encryption.

It is likely that instead of thinking of how to upgrade the number of keys used or a gradual change, that post-quantum encryption will require dabbling into categories of problems that havent been used in classical encryption. Dr. Alwen has written about lattice-based cryptography as a potential solution. NIST, the National Institute of Standards and Technology currently responsible for encryption standards has also announced a process to test and standardize post-quantum public-key encryption.

Hardware wallets are in principle the way to go now for security in a classical environment Dr. Alwen points out, having done research in the space. The fact that theyre hard to upgrade is a problem, but its much better than complex devices like laptops and cell phones in terms of the security and focus accorded to the private key.

In order to keep up with cryptography and its challenges, MIT and Stanford open courses are a good place to start to get the basic terminology. There is for example, an MIT Cryptography and Cryptanalysis course on MIT OpenCourseWare and similar free Stanford Online courses.

There are two areas of focus: applied cryptography or theory of cryptography. Applied cryptography is a field that is more adjacent to software engineering, rather than math-heavy cryptography theory. An important area is to realize what role suits you best when it comes to learning: making headway on breaking cryptography theory or understanding from an engineering perspective how to implement solid cryptography.

When youre a bit more advanced and focused on cryptography theory, Eprint is a server that allows for an open forum for cryptographers to do pre-prints. Many of the most important developments in the field have been posted there.

Forums around common cryptography tools help with applied cryptography as well as some of the cryptography theory out there: the Signal forums, or the Wickr blog are examples.

Cryptocurrencies are co-evolving with other technologies. As computers develop into different forms, there are grand opportunities, from space-based cryptocurrency exchange to distributed devices that make running nodes accessible to everybody.

Yet, in this era, there will also be new technologies that force cryptocurrencies to adapt to changing realities. Quantum computing and the possibility that it might eventually break the cryptographic primitives cryptocurrencies are built on is one such technology. Yet, its in the new governance principles cryptocurrencies embody that might help them adapt.

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Honeywell joins hands with Cambridge Quantum Computing to form a new company – The Hindu

§ June 20th, 2021 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on Honeywell joins hands with Cambridge Quantum Computing to form a new company – The Hindu

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Multinational conglomerate Honeywell said it will combine with Cambridge Quantum Computing in a bid to form the largest standalone quantum computing company in the world.

According to Honeywell, the merger will be completed in the third quarter of 2021 and will set the pace for what is projected to become a $1 trillion quantum computing industry over the next three decades.

In the yet to be named company, Honeywell will invest between $270 million and $300 million, and will own a major stake. It will also engage in an agreement for manufacturing critical ion traps needed to power quantum hardware.

The new company will be led by Ilyas Khan, the CEO and founder of CQC, a company that focuses on building software for quantum computing. Honeywell Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Darius Adamczyk will serve as chairman of the new company while Tony Uttley, currently the president of HQS, will serve as the new company's president.

"Joining together into an exciting newly combined enterprise, HQS and CQC will become a global powerhouse that will develop and commercialize quantum solutions that address some of humanity's greatest challenges, while driving the development of what will become a $1 trillion industry," Khan said in a statement.

With this new company, both firms plan to use Honeywells hardware expertise and Cambridges software platforms to build the worlds highest-performing computer.

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What Are the Quantum Computing Threats to Security? – Design and Reuse – Design and Reuse

§ June 20th, 2021 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on What Are the Quantum Computing Threats to Security? – Design and Reuse – Design and Reuse

There are very few words used more right now in tech publications than the word quantum. There are also very few words that are more difficult to understand. Quantum can refer to several things. How do quantum mechanics relate to quantum effects or quantum computers? What is quantum computing, when will it be available, and is it the security threat many say it is?

It seems like quantum is the buzzword in tech these days with big companies and governments investing billions in research into quantum technology and its applications. But understanding the goal of all these investments and what the current state-of-the-art of quantum technology is, is far from trivial.

For starters, there are many aspects to the field of quantum technology. It all starts with quantum mechanics that cause quantum effects, which are used to create quantum computers that can run quantum algorithms. And it doesnt get any simpler from there. Do you know the difference between quantum crypto and post-quantum crypto? No need to worry if you dont, because few people do.

Needless to say, combining the hype of everything quantum with the confusion around all different aspects of an immensely complex technology is leading to very creative and misleading marketing activities. If you believe everything you find online, there is no way your company will be able to survive without investing in some kind of security against quantum attacks right now. And who are you to say that this is not true? Do you understand the intricacies of something as complicated as quantum technology? So, you must rely on the statements of these experts, right? Maybe you do, but maybe not. One thing you should do is at least try to sort out what is real and what is not from all the hype making the rounds.

For example, be aware that there is no clear timeline on when these quantum computers will actually become useful. Some early-stage quantum computers exist in high-end research laboratories, but this does not mean that they can be used for running algorithms that are changing the world as we know it not yet. There have been breakthroughs in the field of quantum computing since as early as the 1990s, but as of today, a usable quantum computer still does not exist. Yes, research is speeding up with those billions of dollars in investments, but that does not mean our world will be turned upside down tomorrow. And this is only one of many aspects that is probably less of a worry for you than you might have expected, given what you may have read or heard.

To provide some help in these confusing times, PUF Cafe, the online community about Physical Unclonable Functions or PUF technology, is organizing a webinar to shine a light on some of the different aspects of quantum technology and the impact this technology will have on cryptographic security. If you want to learn more about the relationship between quantum and crypto and the threats posed to the current security state-of-the-art, you can sign up here to attend this free webinar live on June 30th, or become a member of the PUF Cafe community (also free) and enjoy access to the PUF Cafe database of webinars available on replay.

This webinar is the fifth episode in the PUF Cafe Episodes, a web series about security challenges and PUF technology.

The webinar will discuss:

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Is quantum computing about to change the world? – BroadbandDeals

§ June 20th, 2021 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on Is quantum computing about to change the world? – BroadbandDeals

Quantum computing potential extends beyond simply processing things faster, offering scope to create entire new consumer services and product offerings

Its common for new technologies to be treated with a healthy degree of scepticism when theyre first unveiled.

From the internet to social media, it often takes a while for potential to become reality.

Today, theres excitable talk about the blockchains potential, or how light-powered LiFi may supplant WiFi in the nations homes. Talk, but not much action as yet.

Quantum computing potential may be unmatched in terms of transforming our world even more so than the Internet of Things, or fully automated robotics.

And while you dont need a degree in quantum physics to understand quantum computing, its important to appreciate the basics of this highly complex (and unstable) technology.

Regardless of what theyre being asked to do, electronic devices only understand binary inputs. Zero or one, on or off. Thats it.

Every FIFA tournament, CAD package, Netflix marathon and email is composed of immense strings of zeroes and ones the binary data bits computers can process and interpret.

Quantum computing potentially subverts this by allowing bits to be both zeroes and ones at the same time.

This status fluidity involves holding data in whats called a superposition state a coin spinning on its side rather than landing heads-up or tails-up.

Superpositions grant a single bit far more potential, offering exponentially more processing power than a modern (classical) computer can deliver.

Quantum computers are theoretically capable of achieving feats todays hardware couldnt manage in a hundred lifetimes.

Google claims to own a quantum computer which can perform tasks 100,000,000 times faster than its most powerful classical computer.

Indeed, computer scientists have already demonstrated that quantum processing can encrypt data in such a way it becomes impossible to hack.

This alone could transform online security, rendering spyware and most modern malware redundant, while ensuring a far safer world for consumers and businesses.

Quantum computing may be able to process the vast repositories of digital information being generated by billions of AI devices, which would otherwise result in huge data siloes.

It could unlock the secrets of our universe, helping us to achieve nuclear fusion or test drugs in ways wed never be able to accomplish with classical computing and brainpower alone.

Unfortunately, there are certain obstacles in the way of achieving full quantum computing potential.

The molecular instability involved in superpositions requires processors to be stored at cryogenic temperatures as close to absolute zero (-273C) as possible.

Devices need to be stored and handled with exceptional care, which in turn makes them incredibly expensive and unsuitable for domestic deployment.

And while the ability to develop uncrackable encryption algorithms is appealing, a quantum processor could also unlock almost any existing encryption method.

The havoc that could wreak in the wrong hands doesnt bear thinking about, and scientists are struggling to develop quantum-resistant algorithms for classical computers.

Like all emerging technologies, quantum computing has some way to go before it achieves mainstream adoption and acceptance.

When it does, the world will be a very different place.

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Swedish university is behind quantum computing breakthrough – ComputerWeekly.com

§ June 4th, 2021 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on Swedish university is behind quantum computing breakthrough – ComputerWeekly.com

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Published: 03 Jun 2021 12:41

Swedens Chalmers University of Technology has achieved a quantum computing efficiency breakthrough through a novel type of thermometer that is capable of simplifying and rapidly measuring temperatures during quantum calculations.

The discovery adds a more advanced benchmarking tool that will accelerate Chalmers work in quantum computing development.

The novel thermometer is the latest innovation to emerge from the universitys research to develop an advanced quantum computer. The so-called OpenSuperQ project at Chalmers is coordinated with technology research organisation the Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology (WACQT), which is the OpenSuperQ projects main technology partner.

WACQT has set the goal of building a quantum computer capable of performing precise calculations by 2030. The technical requirements behind this ambitious target are based on superconducting circuits and developing aquantum computer with at least 100 well-functioning qubits. To realise this ambition, the OpenSuperQ project will require a processor working temperature close to absolute zero, ideally as low as 10 millikelvin (-273.14 C).

Headquartered at Chalmers Universitys research hub in Gothenburg, the OpenSuperQ project, launched in 2018, is intended to run until 2027. Working alongside the university in Gothenburg, WACQT is also operating support projects being run at the Royal Institute of Technology (Kungliga Tekniska Hgskolan) in Stockholm and collaborating universities in Lund, Stockholm, Linkping and Gothenburg.

Pledged capital funding for the WACQT-managed OpenSuperQ project which has been committed by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation together with 20 other private corporations in Sweden, currently amounts to SEK1.3bn (128m). In March, the foundation scaled up its funding commitment to WACQT, doubling its annual budget to SEK80m over the next four years.

The increased funding by the foundation will lead to the expansion of WACQTs QC research team, and the organisation is looking to recruit a further 40 researchers for the OpenSuperQ project in 2021-2022. A new team is to be established to study nanophotonic devices, which can enable the interconnection of several smaller quantum processors into a large quantum computer.

The Wallenberg sphere incorporates 16 public and private foundations operated by various family members. Each year, these foundations allocate about SEK2.5bn to research projects in the fields of technology, natural sciences and medicine in Sweden.

The OpenSuperQ project aims to take Sweden to the forefront of quantum technologies, including computing, sensing, communications and simulation, said Peter Wallenberg, chairman of the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.

Quantum technology has enormous potential, so it is vital that Sweden has the necessary expertise in this area. WACQT has built up a qualified research environment and established collaborations with Swedish industry. It has succeeded in developing qubits with proven problem-solving ability. We can move ahead with great confidence in what WACQT will go on to achieve.

The novel thermometer breakthrough opens the door to experiments in the dynamic field of quantum thermodynamics, said Simone Gasparinetti, assistant professor at Chalmers quantum technology laboratory.

Our thermometer is a superconducting circuit and directly connected to the end of the waveguide being measured, said Gasparinetti. It is relatively simple and probably the worlds fastest and most sensitive thermometer for this particular purpose at the millikelvin scale.

Coaxial cables and waveguides the structures that guide waveforms and serve as the critical connection to the quantum processor remain key components in quantum computers. The microwave pulses that travel down the waveguides to the quantum processor are cooled to extremely low temperatures along the way.

For researchers, a fundamental goal is to ensure that these waveguides are not carrying noise due to the thermal motion of electrons on top of the pulses that they send. Precise temperature measurement readings of the electromagnetic fields are needed at the cold end of the microwave waveguides, the point where the controlling pulses are delivered to the computers qubits.

Working at the lowest possible temperature minimises the risk of introducing errors in the qubits. Until now, researchers have only been able to measure this temperature indirectly, and with relatively long delays. Chalmers Universitys novel thermometer enables very low temperatures to be measured directly at the receiving end of the waveguide with elevated accuracy and with extremely high time resolution.

The novel thermometer developed at the university provides researchers with a value-added tool to measure the efficiency of systems while identifying possible shortcomings, said Per Delsing, a professor at the department of microtechnology and nanoscience at Chalmers and director of WACQT.

A certain temperature corresponds to a given number of thermal photons, and that number decreases exponentially with temperature, he said. If we succeed in lowering the temperature at the end where the waveguide meets the qubit to 10 millikelvin, the risk of errors in our qubits is reduced drastically.

The universitys primary role in the OpenSuperQ project is to lead the work on developing the application algorithms that will be executed on the OpenSuperQ quantum computer. It will also support the development of algorithms for quantum chemistry, optimisation and machine learning.

Also, Chalmers will head up efforts to improve quantum coherence in chips with multiple coupled qubits, including device design, process development, fabrication, packaging and testing. It will also conduct research to evaluate the performance of 2-qubit gates and develop advanced qubit control methods to mitigate systematic and incoherent errors to achieve targeted gate fidelities.

This e-guide explores these matters, beginning with a comprehensive article that ranges over supply chain management, from a macro level through how trading platforms have been flexed to switch suppliers rapidly down to how robots have been quickly deployed to solve problems of scale.

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Global IT giant to partner with U of C on quantum computing centre – Calgary Herald

§ June 4th, 2021 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on Global IT giant to partner with U of C on quantum computing centre – Calgary Herald

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A global IT giant has announced plans to partner with the University of Calgary to create a centre of excellence for quantum computing in the city.

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A global IT giant has announced plans to partner with the University of Calgary to create a centre of excellence for quantum computing in the city.

Bangalore-based Mphasis Ltd., a provider of IT outsourcing services, announced Wednesday that it will set up a Canadian headquarters in Calgary. The move is expected to create 500 to 1,000 local jobs within the next two to three years, according to company CEO Nitin Rakesh.

The company will also establish what it dubs the Quantum City Centre of Excellence at the University of Calgary to serve as a hub for companies focused on the commercial development of quantum technologies. Mphasis will be the anchor tenant and will work to draw in other companies working in the field.

Quantum computing uses the principles of quantum physics to solve problems. It is considered to be a huge leap forward from traditional computer technology, and has futuristic applications in the fields of medicine, energy, fintech, logistics and more.

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In a virtual news conference Wednesday, Premier Jason Kenney called quantum computing one of the most promising emerging high-tech sectors. He said the partnership between Mphasis and the University of Calgary will help make Alberta a destination of choice for investment capital and talent in this growing field.

The goal is to make Alberta a force to be reckoned with in quantum computing, machine learning and AI economically, but also intellectually, Kenney said. Post-secondary students will have incredible opportunities to master the most sought-after skills through this venture.

Mphasis also announced its plans to establish Sparkle Calgary, which will offer training in artificial intelligence and automation technology for Albertans seeking a career transition. Rakesh said through this platform, Mphasis hopes to help address the skills shortage that currently plagues Albertas tech sector, while at the same time helping out-of-work Albertans find a place in the new economy.

Theres a ton of data expertise that sits at the heart of the oil and gas industry, Rakesh said. So can we take that ability to apply data knowledge, data science, and really re-skill (those workers) toward cloud computing . . . Thats the vision we want to see.

The University of Calgary has been working for some time to help establish Alberta as a leader for quantum computing research through its Institute for Quantum Science and Technology a multidisciplinary group of researchers from the areas of computer science, mathematics, chemistry and physics. The U of C is also a member of Quantum Alberta, which aims to accelerate Quantum Science research, development and commercialization in the province.

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U of C president Ed McCauley said Wednesday he hopes that the partnership with Mphasis will lead to the birth of a new wave of startup companies in Calgary, ones that will use cutting-edge technology developed on campus.

This (quantum) technology will not only create its own industry, but it will fuel advances in others, McCauley said. Calgary will not only be an energy capital, it will be a quantum capital, too.

The federal government has identified quantum computing as critically important to the future economy. The most recent federal budget includes $360 million for a National Quantum Strategy encompassing funding for research, students and skills development.

Mphasis is the second major Indian IT company in recent months to announce it will set up shop in Calgary. In March, Infosys a New York Stock Exchange-listed global consulting and IT services firm with more than 249,000 employees worldwide said it will bring 500 jobs to the city over the next three years as part of the next phase of its Canadian expansion.

Like Mphasis, Infosys has formed partnerships with Calgarys post-secondary institutions to invest jointly in training programs that will help to develop a local technology talent pool.

astephenson@postmedia.com

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What is Thermodynamic Computing and Could It Become Important? – HPCwire

§ June 4th, 2021 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on What is Thermodynamic Computing and Could It Become Important? – HPCwire

What, exactly, is thermodynamic computing? (Yes, we know everything obeys thermodynamic laws.) A trio of researchers from Microsoft, UC San Diego, and Georgia Tech have written an interesting viewpoint in the June issue of Communications of ACM A Vision to Compute like Nature: Thermodynamically.

Arguing that traditional computing is approaching hard limits for many familiar reasons, Todd Hylton (UCSD), Thomas Conte (Georgia Tech), and Mark Hill (Microsoft) sketch out this idea that it may be possible to harness thermodynamic computing to solve many currently difficult problem sets and to do so with lower power and better performance.

Animals, plants, bacteria, and proteins solve problems by spontaneously finding energy-efficient configurations that enable them to thrive in complex, resource-constrained environments. For example, proteins fold naturally into a low-energy state in response to their environment, write the researchers. In fact, all matter evolves toward low-energy configurations in accord with the Laws of Thermodynamics. For near-equilibrium systems these ideas are well known and have been used extensively in the analysis of computational efficiency and in machine learning techniques, write the researchers in their paper.

Theres a nice, summary description of the TC notion on a Computing Community Consortium (CCC) blog this week:

What if we designed computing systems to solve problems through a similar process? The writers envision a thermodynamic computing system (TCS) as a combination of a conventional computing system and novel TC hardware. The conventional computer is a host through which users can access the TC and define a problem for the TC to solve. The TC, on the other hand, is an open thermodynamic system directly connected to real-world input potentials (for example, voltages), which drive the adaptation of its internal organization via the transport of charge through it to relieve those potentials.

In the ACM Viewpoint, the researchers say, [W]e advocate a new, physically grounded, computational paradigm centered on thermodynamics and an emerging understanding of using thermodynamics to solve problems that we call Thermodynamic Computing or TC. Like quantum computers, TCs are distinguished by their ability to employ the underlying physics of the computing substrate to accomplish a task. (See the figure below from the paper)

The recent Viewpoint is actually the fruit of a 2019 thermodynamic computing workshop sponsored by CCC and organized by the ACM Viewpoint authors. In many ways, their idea sounds somewhat similar to adiabatic quantum computing (e.g. D-Wave Systems) but without the need to maintain quantum state coherence during computation.

Among existing computing systems, TC is perhaps most similar to neuromorphic computing, except that it replaces rule-driven adaptation and neuro-biological emulation with thermo-physical evolution, is how the researchers describe TC.

The broad idea to let a system seek thermodynamic equilibrium to compute isnt new and has been steadily advancing, as they note in their paper:

The idea of using the physics of self-organizing electronic or ionic devices to solve computational problems has shown dramatic progress in recent years. For example, networks of oscillators built from devices exhibiting metal-insulator transitions have been shown to solve computational problems in the NP-hard class.Memristive devices have internal state dynamics driven by complex electronic, ionic, and thermodynamic considerations,which, when integrated into networks, result in large-scale complex dynamics that can be employed in applications such as reservoir computing.Other systems of memristive devices have been shown to implement computational models such as Hopfield networks and to build neural networks capable of unsupervised learning.

Today we see opportunity to couple these recent experimental resultswith the new theories of non-equilibrium systems through both existing (for example, Boltzmann Machines) and newer (for example, Thermodynamic Neural Network) model systems.

The researchers say thermodynamic computing approaches are particularly well-suited for searching complex energy landscapes that leverage both rapid device fluctuations and the ability to search a large space in parallel, and addressing NP-complete combinatorial optimization problems or sampling many-variable probability distributions.

They suggest a three-prong TC development roadmap:

At least initially, we expect that TC will enable new computing opportunities rather than replace Classical Computing at what Classical Computing does well (enough), following the disruption path articulated by Christensen.These new opportunities will likely enable orders of magnitude more energy efficiency and the ability to self-organize across scales as an intrinsic part of their operation. These may include self-organizing neuromorphic systems and the simulation of complex physical or biological domains, but the history of technology shows that compelling new applications often emerge after the technology is available.

The viewpoint is fascinating and best read directly.

Link to ACM Thermodynamic Computing Viewpoint: https://cacm.acm.org/magazines/2021/6/252841-a-vision-to-compute-like-nature/fulltext

Link to CCC blog: https://us5.campaign-archive.com/?e=afe05237d1&u=3403318289e02657adfc0822d&id=7b8ae80cfa

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IBM has partnered with IITs, others to advance training, research in quantum computing – Elets

§ June 4th, 2021 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on IBM has partnered with IITs, others to advance training, research in quantum computing – Elets

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The institutions which have been selected, the respective faculty and students will be able to access IBM quantum systems, quantum learning resources and, quantum tools over IBM Cloud for education and research purposes. This will allow these institutions to work on actual quantum computers and program these using the Qiskit open-source framework.

The selected institutions are Indian Institute of Science Education & Research (IISER) Pune, IISER Thiruvananthapuram, Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Jodhpur, IIT- Kanpur, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Madras, Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) Kolkata, Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) Delhi, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) Mumbai and the University of Calcutta.

The collaboration with Indias top institutions is a part IBM Quantum Educators program that helps faculty in the quantum field connect with others. The program offers multiple benefits like additional access to systems beyond IBMs open systems, pulse access on the additional systems, priority considerations when in queue and private collaboration channels with other educators in the program, read an IBM notice.

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IBM and MIT kickstarted the age of quantum computing in 1981 – Fast Company

§ May 11th, 2021 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on IBM and MIT kickstarted the age of quantum computing in 1981 – Fast Company

In May 1981, at a conference center housed in a chateau-style mansion outside Boston, a few dozen physicists and computer scientists gathered for a three-day meeting. The assembled brainpower was formidable: One attendee, Caltechs Richard Feynman, was already a Nobel laureate and would earn a widespread reputation for genius when his 1985 memoir Surely Youre Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character became a bestseller. Numerous others, such as Paul Benioff, Arthur Burks, Freeman Dyson, Edward Fredkin, Rolf Landauer, John Wheeler, and Konrad Zuse, were among the most accomplished figures in their respective research areas.

The conference they were attending, The Physics of Computation, was held from May 6 to 8 and cohosted by IBM and MITs Laboratory for Computer Science. It would come to be regarded as a seminal moment in the history of quantum computingnot that anyone present grasped that as it was happening.

Its hard to put yourself back in time, says Charlie Bennett, a distinguished physicist and information theorist who was part of the IBM Research contingent at the event. If youd said quantum computing, nobody would have understood what you were talking about.

Why was the conference so significant? According to numerous latter-day accounts, Feynman electrified the gathering by calling for the creation of a quantum computer. But I dont think he quite put it that way, contends Bennett, who took Feynmans comments less as a call to action than a provocative observation. He just said the world is quantum, Bennett remembers. So if you really wanted to build a computer to simulate physics, that should probably be a quantum computer.

For a guide to whos who in this 1981 Physics of Computation photo, click here. [Photo: courtesy of Charlie Bennett, who isnt in itbecause he took it]Even if Feynman wasnt trying to kick off a moonshot-style effort to build a quantum computer, his talkand The Physics of Computation conference in generalproved influential in focusing research resources. Quantum computing was nobodys day job before this conference, says Bennett. And then some people began considering it important enough to work on.

It turned out to be such a rewarding area for study that Bennett is still working on it in 2021and hes still at IBM Research, where hes been, aside from the occasional academic sabbatical, since 1972. His contributions have been so significant that hes not only won numerous awards but also had one named after him. (On Thursday, he was among the participants in an online conference on quantum computings past, present, and future that IBM held to mark the 40th anniversary of the original meeting.)

Charlie Bennett [Photo: courtesy of IBM]These days, Bennett has plenty of company. In recent years, quantum computing has become one of IBMs biggest bets, as it strives to get the technology to the point where its capable of performing useful work at scale, particularly for the large organizations that have long been IBMs core customer base. Quantum computing is also a major area of research focus at other tech giants such as Google, Microsoft, Intel, and Honeywell, as well as a bevy of startups.

According to IBM senior VP and director of research Dario Gil, the 1981 Physics of Computation conference played an epoch-shifting role in getting the computing community excited about quantum physicss possible benefits. Before then, in the context of computing, it was seen as a source of noiselike a bothersome problem that when dealing with tiny devices, they became less reliable than larger devices, he says. People understood that this was driven by quantum effects, but it was a bug, not a feature.

Making progress in quantum computing has continued to require setting aside much of what we know about computers in their classical form. From early room-sized mainframe monsters to the smartphone in your pocket, computing has always boiled down to performing math with bits set either to one or zero. But instead of depending on bits, quantum computers leverage quantum mechanics through a basic building block called a quantum bit, or qubit. It can represent a one, a zero, orin a radical departure from classical computingboth at once.

Dario Gil [Photo: courtesy of IBM]Qubits give quantum computers the potential to rapidly perform calculations that might be impossibly slow on even the fastest classical computers. That could have transformative benefits for applications ranging from drug discovery to cryptography to financial modeling. But it requires mastering an array of new challenges, including cooling superconducting qubits to a temperature only slightly above abolute zero, or -459.67 Farenheit.

Four decades after the 1981 conference, quantum computing remains a research project in progress, albeit one thats lately come tantalizingly close to fruition. Bennett says that timetable isnt surprising or disappointing. For a truly transformative idea, 40 years just isnt that much time: Charles Babbage began working on his Analytical Engine in the 1830s, more than a century before technological progress reached the point where early computers such as IBMs own Automated Sequence Controlled Calculator could implement his concepts in a workable fashion. And even those machines came nowhere near fulfilling the vision scientists had already developed for computing, including some things that [computers] failed at miserably for decades, like language translation, says Bennett.

I think was the first time ever somebody said the phrase quantum information theory.

In 1970, as a Harvard PhD candidate, Bennett was brainstorming with fellow physics researcher Stephen Wiesner, a friend from his undergraduate days at Brandeis. Wiesner speculated that quantum physics would make it possible to send, through a channel with a nominal capacity of one bit, two bits of information; subject however to the constraint that whichever bit the receiver choose to read, the other bit is destroyed, as Bennett jotted in notes whichfortunately for computing historyhe preserved.

Charlie Bennetts 1970 notes on Stephen Wiesners musings about quantum physics and computing (click to expand). [Photo: courtesy of Charlie Bennett]I think was the first time ever somebody said the phrase quantum information theory,' says Bennett. The idea that you could do things of not just a physics nature, but an information processing nature with quantum effects that you couldnt do with ordinary data processing.

Like many technological advances of historic proportionsAI is another examplequantum computing didnt progress from idea to reality in an altogether predictable and efficient way. It took 11 years from Wiesners observation until enough people took the topic seriously enough to inspire the Physics of Computation conference. Bennett and the University of Montreals Gilles Brassard published important research on quantum cryptography in 1984; in the 1990s, scientists realized that quantum computers had the potential to be exponentially faster than their classical forebears.

All along, IBM had small teams investigating the technology. According to Gil, however, it wasnt until around 2010 that the company had made enough progress that it began to see quantum computing not just as an intriguing research area but as a powerful business opportunity. What weve seen since then is this dramatic progress over the last decade, in terms of scale, effort, and investment, he says.

IBMs superconducting qubits need to be kept chilled in a super fridge. [Photo: courtesy of IBM]As IBM made that progress, it shared it publicly so that interested parties could begin to get their heads around quantum computing at the earliest opportunity. Starting in May 2016, for instance, the company made quantum computing available as a cloud service, allowing outsiders to tinker with the technology in a very early form.

It is really important that when you put something out, you have a path to deliver.

One of the things that road maps provide is clarity, he says, allowing that road maps without execution are hallucinations, so it is really important that when you put something out, you have a path to deliver.

Scaling up quantum computing into a form that can trounce classical computers at ambitious jobs requires increasing the number of reliable qubits that a quantum computer has to work with. When IBM published its quantum hardware road map last September, it had recently deployed the 65-qubit IBM Quantum Hummingbird processor, a considerable advance on its previous 5- and 27-qubit predecessors. This year, the company plans to complete the 127-qubit IBM Quantum Eagle. And by 2023, it expects to have a 1,000-qubit machine, the IBM Quantum Condor. Its this machine, IBM believes, that may have the muscle to achieve quantum advantage by solving certain real-world problems faster the worlds best supercomputers.

Essential though it is to crank up the supply of qubits, the software side of quantum computings future is also under construction, and IBM published a separate road map devoted to the topic in February. Gil says that the company is striving to create a frictionless environment in which coders dont have to understand how quantum computing works any more than they currently think about a classical computers transistors. An IBM software layer will handle the intricacies (and meld quantum resources with classical ones, which will remain indispensable for many tasks).

You dont need to know quantum mechanics, you dont need to know a special programming language, and youre not going to need to know how to do these gate operations and all that stuff, he explains. Youre just going to program with your favorite language, say, Python. And behind the scenes, there will be the equivalent of libraries that call on these quantum circuits, and then they get delivered to you on demand.

IBM is still working on making quantum computing ready for everyday reality, but its already worked with designers to make it look good. [Photo: courtesy of IBM]In this vision, we think that at the end of this decade, there may be as many as a trillion quantum circuits that are running behind the scene, making software run better, Gil says.

Even if IBM clearly understands the road ahead, theres plenty left to do. Charlie Bennett says that quantum researchers will overcome remaining challenges in much the same way that he and others confronted past ones. Its hard to look very far ahead, but the right approach is to maintain a high level of expertise and keep chipping away at the little problems that are causing a thing not to work as well as it could, he says. And then when you solve that one, there will be another one, which you wont be able to understand until you solve the first one.

As for Bennetts own current work, he says hes particularly interested in the intersection betweeninformation theory and cosmologynot so much because I think I can learn enough about it to make an original research contribution, but just because its so much fun to do. Hes also been making explainer videos about quantum computing, a topic whose reputation for being weird and mysterious he blames on inadequate explanation by others.

Unfortunately, the majority of science journalists dont understand it, he laments. And they say confusing things about itpainfully, for me, confusing things.

For IBM Research, Bennett is both a living link to its past and an inspiration for its future. Hes had such a massive impact on the people we have here, so many of our top talent, says Gil. In my view, weve accrued the most talented group of people in the world, in terms of doing quantum computing. So many of them trace it back to the influence of Charlie. Impressive though Bennetts 49-year tenure at the company is, the fact that hes seen and made so much quantum computing historyincluding attending the 1981 conferenceand is here to talk about it is a reminder of how young the field still is.

Harry McCracken is the technology editor for Fast Company, based in San Francisco. In past lives, he was editor at large for Time magazine, founder and editor of Technologizer, and editor of PC World.

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Lighting the Way to Quantum Computers | The UCSB Current – The UCSB Current

§ May 11th, 2021 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on Lighting the Way to Quantum Computers | The UCSB Current – The UCSB Current

With an ability to analyze and rapidly process extremely large datasets, quantum computing promises to enable transformational advances in everything from the rapid discovery of new drugs and vaccines to secure storage and transmission of personal information. The key to the speed of quantum computers lies in qubits, the basic units of information that can exist in multiple states, a phenomenon that provides far more processing power than the binary bits of classical computers.

Quantum computers are difficult to engineer, build and program, however, because highly sensitive qubits are easily affected by environmental disturbance, referred to as noise, such as temperature fluctuations and vibrations. Most qubits also need to be cooled to absolute zero (-273 degrees Celsius) to be usable. One potential solution being explored by researchers at UC Santa Barbara involves photonics, the science of using and controlling photons, which is the smallest unit of light. Photonic circuits can transfer data faster than traditional electronic circuits, and today power data centers and make the internet possible.

Photons have several potential advantages for quantum computing, most notably room-temperature operation, said Galan Moody, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering (ECE). They also dont interact strongly with their environment, so they retain their quantum states for really long periods of time.

According to Moody, integrated photonics the design and fabrication of photonic devices in which all of the components, ranging from lasers to optical interconnects, are contained on one chip is especially promising. Its a field in which UCSB researchers have established themselves as world leaders.

Integrated photonics offer additional advantages, including the ability to leverage the national photonic infrastructure already developed and the high density of components that can be integrated onto a single photonic chip, said Moody. This will help with reliability, stability, and most importantly, scalability.

In support of his effort to develop a new quantum photonic platform that allows for chip-scale quantum information processing with light, Moody has received an Early CAREER award from the National Science Foundation (NSF), a prestigious honor that comes with $500,000 in research funding over five years.

Its an incredible honor, and its a testament to the dedication and hard work of my students and postdocs, especially with the challenges everyone has faced this past year, said Moody. I couldnt be prouder of my group, who really made it possible for me to receive this award. It validates the vision weve been developing over the past couple of years, and it provides support for us to help drive the field of quantum photonics into exciting new directions over the next five years and beyond.

Moody says the award is a direct result of the tremendous mentoring he has received from the college and his department, as well as rewarding collaborations most notably with John Bowers, a distinguished professor of materials and ECE and the director of UCSBs Institute for Energy Efficiency (IEE).

We congratulate Professor Galan Moody on this great recognition of his work and the tremendous potential of his research on quantum photonics, said Rod Alferness, dean of the College of Engineering. We are tremendously proud to see junior faculty, like Professor Moody, rewarded for pushing the boundaries of science and technology to benefit society. I look forward to the research and mentorship this support will enable.

Conventional integrated photonic devices utilize silicon waveguides surrounded by an insulator, such as silicon dioxide, to guide light around a photonic chip. Moodys plan is to replace silicon with the III-V semiconductor alloy aluminum gallium arsenide (AlGaAs).

We expect several new important capabilities and better performance than we get from silicon, including more efficient quantum light sources, a reduced need for laser power to pump the sources, better electrical efficiency and significantly less optical loss in order to preserve the photons quantum state, said Moody.

The first stage of his project is to develop all of the necessary components to carry out certain quantum computations on a chip. These include improvements to his groups existing entangled-photon pair sources, and developing methods to convert quantum states throughout the visible and telecommunications wavelengths.

Once we fabricate, test and benchmark these components, we hope to find significant performance advantages compared to other approaches, such as silicon, Moody said.

The next phase is to design optical processor architectures and carry out some of the basic quantum operations on photons that are needed for a functional quantum computer. Lastly, they will begin to scale up their designs with the goal of demonstrating a practical and useful quantum computer using light.

While a quantum computer that can perform complex computations is a long-term goal, we expect to answer many important fundamental and practical questions in the short term, such as how can we make the most efficient quantum light source and what are the materials challenges we need to address to do this, said Moody. Our research may also lead to innovations in areas other than computing, including faster and more secure optical networks and satellite-based quantum communications.

The timing of the NSF CAREER award worked out perfectly for Moody. His research lab moved into Henley Hall, a state-of-the-art facility that opened in fall 2020. Moody also recently received the Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP) award from the Department of Defense to build the instrumentation needed to test the quantum photonic chips that his group will design and fabricate as part of the NSF CAREER award.

These experiments require a high level of temperature and vibrational stability, which is possible with the new lab space in Henley Hall, said Moody. This combination of state-of-the-art lab space and well-maintained shared facilities on campus, like the Nanofabrication Facility, make UCSB a really unique and exciting environment, and as a relatively new faculty member, Im fortunate to be a part of it.

The NSF funding also will jumpstart ambitious teaching and outreach programs that Moodys group has been developing, including a remote quantum teaching lab that will be accessible to online users beginning with a joint pilot program with Santa Barbara City College. They also plan to bring regional high school students from underrepresented communities to campus for an interactive quantum learning experience with the Media Arts and Technology Program, and to launch an outreach program for K-8 students and their families to learn about quantum science and engineering.

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GlobalFoundries and PsiQuantum partner on full-scale quantum computer – VentureBeat

§ May 11th, 2021 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on GlobalFoundries and PsiQuantum partner on full-scale quantum computer – VentureBeat

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PsiQuantum and Globalfoundries have teamed up to manufacture the chips that will become part of the Q1 quantum computer.

Palo Alto, California-based PsiQuantum has plans to create a million-qubit quantum computer. Globalfoundries is a major chipmaker that will manufacture the silicon photonic and electronic chips that are part of the Q1.

The system theyre working on now is the first milestone in PsiQuantums roadmap to deliver a commercially viable quantum computer with 1 million qubits (the basic unit of quantum information) and beyond. PsiQuantum believes silicon photonics, or combining optics with silicon chips, is the only way to scale beyond 1 million qubits and deliver an error-corrected, fault-tolerant, general-purpose quantum computer. PsiQuantum wants to deliver quantum capabilities that drive advances with customers and partners across climate, health care, finance, energy, agriculture, transportation, and communications.

PsiQuantum and GF have now demonstrated a world-first ability to manufacture core quantum components, such as single-photon sources and single-photon detectors, with precision and in volume, using the standard manufacturing processes of GFs world-leading semiconductor fab. The companies have also installed proprietary production and manufacturing equipment in two of Globalfoundries 300-millimeter factories to produce thousands of Q1 silicon photonic chips at its facility in upstate New York and state-of-the-art electronic control chips at its Fab 1 facility in Dresden, Germany.

Above: A Globalfoundries cleanroom.

Image Credit: Globalfoundries

PsiQuantums Q1 system represents breakthroughs in silicon photonics, which the company believes is the only way to scale to a million or more qubits to deliver an error-corrected, fault-tolerant, general-purpose quantum computer.

The Q1 system is the result of five years of development at PsiQuantum by the worlds foremost experts in photonic quantum computing. The team made it their mission to bring the world-changing benefits of quantum computing to reality, based on two fundamental understandings. Globalfoundries is fast becoming a leader in silicon photonics, Moor Insights & Strategy analyst Patrick Moorhead said in an email to VentureBeat. Its announcement with PsiQuantum now adds quantum computing to its SiPho repertoire of datacenter and chip-level connectivity.

First, it focused on a quantum computer capable of performing otherwise impossible calculations requiring a million physical qubits. Second, it leveraged more than 50 years and trillions of dollars invested in the semiconductor industry as the path to creating a commercially viable quantum computer.

Globalfoundries Amir Faintuch said in a statement that we have experienced a decade of technological change in the past year and that the digital transformation and explosion of data now requires quantum computing to accelerate a compute renaissance.

Globalfoundries silicon photonics manufacturing platform enables PsiQuantum to develop quantum chips that can be measured and tested for long-term performance reliability. This is critical to the ability to execute quantum algorithms, which require millions or billions of gate operations. PsiQuantum is collaborating with researchers, scientists, and developers at leading companies to explore and test quantum use cases across a range of industries, including energy, health care, finance, agriculture, transportation, and communications.

Pete Shadbolt, chief strategy officer at PsiQuantum, said in a statement that this is a major achievement for both the quantum and semiconductor industries, demonstrating that its possible to build the critical components of a quantum computer on a silicon chip, using standard manufacturing processes. He said PsiQuantum knew that scaling the system was key. By the middle of the decade, PsiQuantum and Globalfoundries hope to create all the manufacturing lines and processes needed to begin assembling a final machine.

PsiQuantum and Globalfoundries want to play a critical role in ensuring the United States becomes a global leader in quantum computing, supported by a secure, domestic supply chain.

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3 CQE Scientists Elected to National Academy of Sciences, 1 to American Academy of Arts and Sciences – HPCwire

§ May 11th, 2021 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on 3 CQE Scientists Elected to National Academy of Sciences, 1 to American Academy of Arts and Sciences – HPCwire

May 10, 2021 Three Chicago Quantum Exchange (CQE) scientists Nadya Masonat the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign;Laura Gagliardiat the University of Chicago; andMichael Wasielewskiat Northwestern University have recently been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), and Mason was also elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS).

Membership in the National Academy of Sciences is one of the highest professional honors a scientist can receive. Mason, Gagliardi, and Wasielewski are among 120 new U.S. members and 30 international members elected to the academy this year, a cohort which includes the most women to be elected to the academy in a single year. They will be inducted at the academys annual meeting in 2022.

Mason, the Rosalyn Sussman Yalow Professor in Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has also been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the countrys most prestigious honorary societies. She is one of 252 new members elected this year, a class that includes artists, philosophers, journalists, scientists, and leaders in public, nonprofit and private sectors.

Mason conducts research on quantum electronics and materials, including topological materials, and is the founding director of the Illinois Materials Research Science and Engineering Center. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Maria Goeppert Mayer Award, the Edward Bouchet Award, the Deans Award for Excellence in Research at Illinois and the Denice Denton Emerging Leader Award.

Gagliardi develops novel quantum chemical methods and models molecular species, materials, and interfaces. She is the Richard and Kathy Leventhal Professor in the Department of Chemistry and the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago, with a joint appointment at the James Franck Institute. She is also the director of the Chicago Center for Theoretical Chemistry and the Inorganometallic Catalyst Design Center.

Wasielewski studies light-driven processes in molecules and materials, artificial photosynthesis, molecular electronics, quantum information science, ultrafast optical spectroscopy and time-resolved electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy. He is the Clare Hamilton Hall Professor of Chemistry in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University, executive director of the Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern (ISEN) and director of the Center for Molecular Quantum Transduction, a US-DOE Energy Frontier Research Center.

Source: CQE

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The Future is Now in ‘Lapsis’ – Shepherd Express

§ May 11th, 2021 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on The Future is Now in ‘Lapsis’ – Shepherd Express

The future as depicted in Lapsis looks pretty much like the present, but just a little worse. Its protagonist, Ray (Dean Imperial), works a dead-end delivery job and cares for a younger brother with chronic fatigue syndrome. Hes sideswiped off the information super-highway when a new quantum computer program renders obsolete all previous software.

Distrustful of a world he no longer understands, Ray is too old to fit in and too young (and penniless) to retire. When his shady friend Felix (James McDaniel) offers to lance him into grunt work for a high-tech company, Ray agrees. He wants to earn enough to pay for experimental treatment of his brothers condition.

Released in 2020, Lapsis is among the best American indie films of recent years. Writer-director Noah Hutton works astutely with low-budget location shots and a screenplay that explains this near future without bogging down or digressing. Ray is like the films audience, continually needing to be brought up to speed. Special effects in this ostensibly science-fiction film? Just those creepy automated cable-laying vehicles that suggest mechanical insects as they proceed, low to the ground on spindly legs. The future in Lapsis is as matter of fact and banal as everyday life in our own time.

Ray is one in an army of cablers stringing fiber optic cables across the world in the tightening web of the quantum computer network. He clings at first to his frayed belief in the American Dream of hard work rewarded. In reality, hes an expendable cog in a gig economy, without health insurance or benefits, continually prodded to set new personal bests. The cabler workers are competing, not so much with each other but with themselves, to reach ever rising metrics of productivity. Will the coworker he encounters while laying cable in the woods of upstate New York, Anna (Madeline Wise), awaken him to the injustice? Or will he continue to bungle along, the half-willing slave of an incomprehensible technology governed by arbitrary rules?

The corporate-speak radiating from CABLR, the colossal monopoly behind quantum computing, is polished to a knifes gleam. CABLR claims commitment to core values and to always do the right thing. They offer low-paid jobs promising flexibility and the opportunity to challenge your status quo. The slogans and the purring voices from devices in every hand coalesce into the smiling face of dehumanization.

A mystery drives the story forward. Like all of his coworkers, Ray is given a username. His is Lapsis Beeftech, and he finds that the name was previously used by a person roundly despised by fellow cablers. He will eventually learn the reason why.

Lapsis glances sideways at neuroscience, robotics, the high cost of health care and the desperate impoverishment of the middle class as it satirizes the gig economy and Silicon Valley monopolies. A wry sense of comedy lifts the drama as Huttons dialogue catches the rhythm and grammar of vernacular as well as corporate language.

Lapsis is out on a Film Movement DVD with a short film and audio commentary by the director. It can also be screened on Vudu.

8:32 a.m.

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Quantum computers will win the next world war – The Next Web

§ April 10th, 2021 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on Quantum computers will win the next world war – The Next Web

What would happen if an AI gained control of the US militarys nuclear stash and decided to preemptively win World War 3 before any perceived enemy nations could react?

Fans of cinema from the 1980s may recognize that query as the plot to the classic science-fiction film Wargames starring a young Matthew Broderick. It was a great but terribly silly movie that paired nicely with popcorn and suspended disbelief. Nevertheless, the question it asked remains valid.

[Note: Spoilers ahead because the movie is more than 30 years old]

In the film, the AI is eventually stymied by Boolean logic after attempting to win against itself at Tic-Tac-Toe. Those who understand how AI actually works might find the entire plot of the movie preposterous, but the ending is especially chuckle-worthy. At least it used to be.

Todays computers use binary logic so, in essence, everythings a yes or no question to an AI running classic algorithms. Even when researchers design AI that rates things, they usually just break the degrees between ratings down into yes-or-no questions for the AI to answer in increments.

But tomorrows AI wont be stuck in the mire of classical physics. Useful quantum computers are just around the corner they should be here sometime between next Tuesday and the year 2121.

With quantum computers, our military systems wont be constrained to yes-or-no questions and they certainly wont have to run boring old binary simulations to determine the confidence factor for a given operation.

Prasanth Shyamsundar, a researcher at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, a Department of Energy research lab for the US government, recently published a fascinating paper describing two new types of algorithms that could revolutionize quantum computing and, potentially, lead to a quantum brain for military AI systems.

A press release from Fermi describes what the algorithms do by invoking the image of an AI sorting through a stack of 100 assorted vinyl records to find the sole jazz album. Under the normal AI paradigm, a deep learning system would be trained on what jazz sounds like and then it would parse each record individually until one of them meets a pass/fail threshold for jazz.

The first of the algorithms Shyamsundar proposes would, essentially, allow that same AI to sort through the entire stack of albums at the same time.

Quantum AI isnt smarter, its just fast and takes advantage of superposition. Where classical AI works in a black box, quantum AI could exploit superposition to operate in many black boxes at once.

Unfortunately, that doesnt mean it comes up with the right answer. When its a yes-or-no question, the odds are good. But when its a question that requires non-Boolean logic, such as rating 100 albums for their jazzyness on a scale of 1-10, even a quantum computer needs a different kind of algorithm.

And thats what the second algorithm does, according to Shyamsundar.

Per a press release from the Fermi lab:

A second algorithm introduced in the paper, dubbed the quantum mean estimation algorithm, allows scientists to estimate the average rating of all the records. In other words, it can assess how jazzy the stack is as a whole.

Both algorithms do away with having to reduce scenarios into computations with only two types of output, and instead allow for a range of outputs to more accurately characterize information with a quantum speedup over classical computing methods.

To be clear, Shyamsundars work has nothing to do with military operations and the Fermi lab, as mentioned, belongs to the DoE (not the DoD). Their paper represents the groundwork towards basic functioning quantum algorithms.

But what is a military AI technology if not an innocuous, basic algorithm persisting?

The problem with todays military logic systems and the one in the movie Wargames is that theyre all based on binary thinking.

You can run a million simulations on advanced military software using cutting-edge AI, but eventually the limitations of pass/fail thinking will reduce almost any conflict into an arms race that ends in either stalemate or mutually-assured destruction.

But, what if the confidence factor for a given military operation didnt rely on binary simulations? The same quantum algorithms that can determine which album in a given stack is a jazz album 10 times faster than a binary system, and how jazzy a given album is, could easily determine which combination of feasible operational strategies would result in the highest overall confidence factor for a military campaign.

In other words, where Sun Tzu was said to be able to envision an entire battle unfolding in front of his eyes before it happened, and modern software such as CMANO can simulate entire operations, a quantum system running simple non-Boolean algorithm solutions should be able to surface strong predictions for the outcome of a multi-step war campaign.

Published April 7, 2021 18:39 UTC

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Graphs, quantum computing and their future roles in analytics – TechRepublic

§ April 10th, 2021 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on Graphs, quantum computing and their future roles in analytics – TechRepublic

Graphs are used in mathematics, engineering and computer science, and they are growing as a technology in IT analytics. Here's how they relate to quantum computing.

Image: iStock/monsitj

A graph is a collection of points, called vertices, and lines between those points, are called edges. Graphs are used in mathematics, engineering and computer science, and they are growing as a technology in IT analytics.

"Graphs can be much more flexible than other [artificial intelligence] techniques, especially when it comes to adding new sources of data," said Steve Reinhardt, VP of product development at Quantum Computing Inc., which produces quantum computing software that operates on graphs. "For instance, if I'm storing patient data and I want to add a dimension to track the unlikely event of testing positive for coronavirus after being vaccinated, graphs only consume storage proportional to the number of patients encountering the rare event."

SEE: The CIO's guide to quantum computing (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Graphs can be heady stuff, so let's break that down.

A database software, such as SQL or NoSQL, would be a logical technology to use if you want to plot the many different relationships between data. Analytics programs then operate on this data and how it is interrelated to derive insights that answer a specific business query.

Unfortunately, to process all of the data relationships in Reinhardt's patient example, a relational database must go through all patient records and store them in order to identify that subset of patients who tested positive for the coronavirus after being vaccinated. For an average hospital, this processing could involve hundreds of thousands of patient records and all of their multiple relationships to the coronavirus and the vaccine.

Now let's put that same problem into a graph. The graph uses data points, lines connecting those points and vertices which show where the lines intersect because they have a common shared context. This shared context enables the graph to identify a subset of patients who tested positive for COVID-19 after they had a vaccine and only store that subset of data for processing. Because a graph can intelligently identify a subset of data through its relationships before data gets processed, processing time is saved.

SEE: Big data graphs are playing an important role in the coronavirus pandemic (TechRepublic)

As IT expands into more data sources for its analytics and data stores, processing will grow more complex and cumbersome. This is where a combination of graphs and quantum computing will one day be able to process data faster than traditional methods.

"Graphs have a rich set of well-understood techniques for analyzing them," Reinhardt said. "Some of these are well-known from analyzing graphs that occur naturally, such as the PageRank algorithm that Google originally used to gauge the importance of web pages, and the identification of influencers in social networks. This is why we are focused on making these algorithms more practically usable."

That sounds good to IT, where there is an issue of understanding enough about graphs and quantum computing to put them to use.

SEE: Research: Quantum computing will impact the enterprise, despite being misunderstood (TechRepublic)

"The goal is to develop solutions so users need to know nothing about the details of quantum computers, including low-level architectural features such as qubits, gates, circuits, couplers and QUBOs," Reinhardt said. "Today, quantum processors are almost never faster than the best classical methods for real-world problems, so early users need to have appropriate expectations. That said, the performance of quantum processors has been growing dramatically, and the achievement of quantum advantage, superior quantum performance on a real-world problem, may not be far off, so organizations that depend on a computing advantage will want to be prepared for that event."

And that is the central point: While graphs and quantum computing are still nebulous concepts to many IT professionals, it isn't too early to start placing them on IT roadmaps, since they will certainly play roles in future analytics.

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615 Million Euros Awarded to Quantum Delta NL for Quantum Research in the Netherlands – HPCwire

§ April 10th, 2021 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on 615 Million Euros Awarded to Quantum Delta NL for Quantum Research in the Netherlands – HPCwire

April 9, 2021 Quantum Delta NL, a research programme in which Leiden University participates, has been awarded 615 million euros from the National Growth Fund to help develop the Netherlands into a top player in quantum technology. This has been announced at the presentation of the honoured proposals in The Hague.

Quantum Delta NL is a cooperation of companies and research institutes in which the research has been organised in five hubs at the universities of Delft, Leiden, Amsterdam, Twente and Eindhoven.

The research groupApplied Quantum Algorithms (aQa)at the Leiden institutes for physics and computer science develops quantum algorithms for chemical and material science applications, in cooperation with Google, Shell, Volkswagen and Total.

Great enthusiasm

Research into quantum computing has been going on for twenty years, bringing real world application ever closer, says Carlo Beenakker, professor in Theoretical Physics and Deputy Chair of Quantum Delta NL. I seegreat enthusiasm in my students to apply abstract concepts from quantum physics to the solution of practical problems. This is the revolutionary technology of their generation.

The goal of aQa is to make quantum algorithms practically applicable, pertaining to questions ofsocietal and economical relevance. We cooperate narrowly with our industrial partners to render these large investments as useful as possible, says computer science researcher Vedran Dunjko. Recently, he published in the journal Natureabout artificial intelligence implemented through quantum computers.

Quantum technology

Quantum Delta NLs ambition is to position the Netherlands as a Silicon Valley for quantum technology in Europe during the coming seven years. The programme provides for the further development of the quantum computer and the quantum internet, which will be open for end users in business and societal sectors, including education.

It aims for a flourishing ecosystem where talent is fostered at all levels, and where cooperation happens over institutional borders to develop a new European high-tech industry.

Source: Leiden University

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