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Quantum Information Edge alliance launches to accelerate quantum computing R&D

A nationwide alliance of national labs, universities, and industry launched in December to advance the frontiers of quantum computing systems designed to solve urgent scientific challenges and maintain US leadership in next-generation information technology.

The Quantum Information Edge strategic alliance is led by t Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and Sandia National Laboratories. The alliance also includes experts from the University of Maryland, Duke University, Harvard University, University of Colorado Boulder, UC Berkeley, Caltech, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of New Mexico.

This partnership brings together a breadth of world-leading expertise and capabilities in computer science, materials science, physics, mathematics, and engineering to pioneer practical advances in quantum systems.

The alliance will identify the most impactful scientific applications that stand to benefit from quantum computing and engineer the hardware and software systems to run these applications. Using advanced hardware including superconducting circuits and naturally occurring atomic systems, the alliance will explore ways to achieve practical quantum advantage—meaning the systems can outperform state-of-the-art classical methods for important scientific and engineering problems.

The team will also help grow the workforce needed to keep the nation at the forefront of quantum information science for years to come, share its advances with the broader scientific community to drive the innovation ecosystem, and work with industry to translate promising technologies into real-world applications.

The alliance’s work on programmable quantum systems has the potential to solve scientific problems that are far beyond the reach of today’s machines, in areas such as information processing, simulations, and metrology. It could transform the design of solar cells, new materials, pharmaceuticals, agricultural fertilizers, and probe the mysteries of physics and the universe, among many applications.

To make this a reality, the alliance will advance quantum information systems using several hardware approaches, including superconducting, trapped ion, and trapped atom quantum bits (or qubits). The alliance will explore how to suppress noise and errors in multi-qubit quantum processors, which severely degrade system performance, develop new computing algorithms to control qubits, and engineer new techniques to fabricate, control, and interconnect qubits. Theoretical computer scientists, physicists, engineers, and chemists will help understand how best to apply these systems to important scientific problems.

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