Honeywell says quantum computers will outpace standard verification in ’18 to 24 months’

By Michael Vizard

Honeywell expects that as advances in quantum computing continue to accelerate over the next 18 to 24 months, the ability to replicate the results of a quantum computing application workload using a conventional computing platform simulation will come to an end.

The company’s System Model H1 has now quadrupled its performance capabilities to become the first commercial quantum computer to attain a 512 quantum volume. Ascertaining quantum volume requires running a complex set of statistical tests that are influenced by the number of qubits, error rates, connectivity of qubits, and cross-talk between qubits. That approach provides a more accurate assessment of a quantum computer’s processing capability that goes beyond simply counting the number of qubits that can be employed.

Honeywell today provides access to a set of simulation tools that make it possible to validate the results delivered on its quantum computers on a conventional machine. Those simulations give organizations more confidence in quantum computing platforms by allowing them to compare results. However, quantum computers are now approaching a level where at some point between 2022 and 2023 that will no longer be possible, Honeywell Quantum Solutions president Tony Uttley said.

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Quantum computing: How basic broadband fiber could pave the way to the next breakthrough

By Daphne Leprince-Ringuet |

New research from NIST could hold the key to accelerating the development of large-scale quantum computers packing one million qubits – using simple telecommunications cables.

Google’s Sycamore quantum processor.  Image: Google

The usefulness of most quantum computers is still significantly limited by the low number of qubits that hardware can support. But simple fiber optic cables – just like the ones used for broadband connections – could be the answer. 

A team of researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) found that, with just a few tweaks, optical fiber can be used to communicate with the qubits sitting inside superconducting quantum computers, with the same level of accuracy as existing methods.

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A Desktop Quantum Computer for Just $5,000

A cheap, portable quantum computer, aimed at schools and colleges will be launched later this year.

A Chinese start-up has unveiled plans to sell a desktop quantum computer costing less than $5,000. The new portable device is one of a range called SpinQ, aimed at schools and colleges. It is made by the Shenzhen SpinQ Technology, based in Shenzhen, China.

This is not the company’s first quantum computer. Last year, it started selling a desktop quantum computer for around $50,000. The desk in question would need to be sturdy given that the device weighs a hefty 55kg (121 lbs)—about the weight of a small adult. 

But the new machine will be simpler, more portable and cheaper. “This simplified version is expected to be released in the fourth quarter of 2021, such that it can be more affordable for most K-12 schools around the world,” say the team behind the device.

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Artificial ‘Magnetic Texture’ in Graphene May Add New Spin to Quantum Computers

The image shows eight electrodes around a 20-nanometer-thick magnet (white rectangle). The graphene, not show, is less than 1 nanometer thick and next to the magnet. (Image: University at Buffalo.)

Graphene is incredibly strong, lightweight, conductive … the list of its superlative properties goes on.

It is not, however, magnetic — a shortcoming that has stunted its usefulness in spintronics, an emerging field that scientists say could eventually rewrite the rules of electronics, leading to more powerful semiconductors, computers and other devices.

Now, an international research team led by the University at Buffalo is reporting an advancement that could help overcome this obstacle. The researchers added that the advance may lead to powerful spintronic devices, such as semiconductors and quantum computers.

In a study published today in the journal Physical Review Letters, researchers describe how they paired a magnet with graphene, and induced what they describe as “artificial magnetic texture” in the nonmagnetic wonder material.

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Lack of symmetry in qubits can’t fix errors in quantum computing, might explain matter/antimatter

A new paper seeking to cure a time restriction in quantum annealing computers instead opened up a class of new physics problems that can now be studied with quantum annealers without requiring they be too slow. Credit: Los Alamos National Laboratory

by Charles Poling , Los Alamos National Laboratory

A team of quantum theorists seeking to cure a basic problem with quantum annealing computers—they have to run at a relatively slow pace to operate properly—found something intriguing instead. While probing how quantum annealers perform when operated faster than desired, the team unexpectedly discovered a new effect that may account for the imbalanced distribution of matter and antimatter in the universe and a novel approach to separating isotopes.

“Although our discovery did not the cure the annealing time restriction, it brought a class of new physics problems that can now be studied with quantum annealers without requiring they be too slow,” said Nikolai Sinitsyn, a theoretical physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Sinitsyn is author of the paper published Feb. 19 in Physical Review Letters, with coauthors Bin Yan and Wojciech Zurek, both also of Los Alamos, and Vladimir Chernyak of Wayne State University.

Significantly, this finding hints at how at least two famous scientific problems may be resolved in the future. The first one is the apparent asymmetry between matter and antimatter in the universe.

“We believe that small modifications to recent experiments with quantum annealing of interacting qubits made of ultracold atoms across phase transitions will be sufficient to demonstrate our effect,” Sinitsyn said.

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A quantum computer just solved a decades-old problem three million times faster than a classical computer

To simulate exotic magnetism, King and his team programmed the D-Wave 2,000-qubit system to model a quantum magnetic system.

By Daphne Leprince-Ringuet 

Using a method called quantum annealing, D-Wave’s researchers demonstrated that a quantum computational advantage could be achieved over classical means.

Scientists from quantum computing company D-Wave have demonstrated that, using a method called quantum annealing, they could simulate some materials up to three million times faster than it would take with corresponding classical methods.  

Together with researchers from Google, the scientists set out to measure the speed of simulation in one of D-Wave’s quantum annealing processors, and found that performance increased with both simulation size and problem difficulty, to reach a million-fold speedup over what could be achieved with a classical CPU.  

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Quantum Computer Chips Manufactured Using Mass-Market Industrial Fabrication Techniques

INTEL ENGINEERS HAVE SOLVED THE QUALITY CONTROL CHALLENGE FOR MASS PRODUCTION OF QUANTUM COMPUTERS.

The quantum computing revolution is upon us. Well, almost. It’s hard to have missed the headlines proclaiming the great power of the latest generation of quantum, their ability to outperform conventional computers , a property called quantum supremacy, and the huge promise of the years ahead.

But an important question remains — how are we going to build these devices? Quantum computers variously rely on photons and/or exotic states of matter trapped in magnetic fields at mind-numbingly cold temperatures. So it’s easy to imagine that quantum computing will require an entirely new industrial base founded on novel technologies.

But there is another possibility: that quantum computers can work with electrons passing through transistor-like devices called quantum dots carved out of silicon. If that’s the case, the entire revolution can piggyback on the industrial base that supports current chip-manufacture.

Now this option looks a step closer thanks to the work of Anne-Marije Zwerver at Delft University of Technology in Denmark and colleagues, many at the research labs at U.S. chipmaker Intel, based in Hillsboro, Oregon. This group has fabricated nanoscale silicon transistors that can reliably process quantum information in ways that match specialist devices. 

But the key breakthrough is that they have done this using industrial chip fabrication processes with a yield that is high enough to allow significant scalability. That paves the way for industrial-scale fabrication of quantum computing chips. “The feasibility of high-quality qubits made with fully-industrial techniques strongly enhances the prospects of a large-scale quantum computer,” says the team.

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Q-CTRL’s new AI toolset allows quantum computers to self-optimize


The toolset runs on Q-CTRL’s flagship BOULDER OPAL software

by: Praharsha Anand

Q-CTRL has announced a new AI-based toolset to facilitate the unassisted performance optimization of quantum computers.

By and large, quantum algorithms are susceptible to errors, creating a substantial barrier to progress and advancement in quantum computing. Q-CTRL’s new automated closed-loop hardware optimization tool uses custom AI agents to run quantum algorithms, resulting in fewer errors and better overall performance for end-users.

Integrated with Q-CTRL’s flagship BOULDER OPAL software for developers and R&D teams, automated closed-loop hardware optimization is also trained to obtain new experimental data/results from quantum computers while simultaneously running optimizations for algorithms. It can be used as a standalone tool or in tandem with a machine-learner online optimization package (M-LOOP) that manages quantum experiments autonomously.

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IBM Promises 100x Faster Quantum Computing in 2021

IBM has been scaling up its own quantum computing efforts over the past few years, and the company is now claiming it’ll deliver a 100x improvement in certain workloads. The company isn’t going to deliver this improvement solely through hardware, but through the deployment of new software tools, algorithms, and models.

Late last year, IBM Fellow and VP of Quantum Computing, Jay Gambetta, published a graph showing IBM’s increased quantum volume on the same hardware.

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Microsoft opens its Azure quantum computer cloud service to the public

An ion chamber houses the brains of a Honeywell quantum computer.

By Stephen Shankland

Azure Quantum shows the growing commercial possibilities for the revolutionary form of computing.

Microsoft’s Azure Quantum service opened to the public on Monday, bringing the radically different computing technology to the world’s second-biggest cloud computing service. 

Azure Quantum includes quantum computers made by Honeywell and IonQ. These machines use a design called an ion trap that employs electrically charged atoms as qubits, the fundamental element used by quantum computers to store and process information. Microsoft plans to add another design by Quantum Circuits, whose qubits are supercooled electrical circuits, in the future.

Microsoft will eventually add its own homegrown quantum computers to the service. Its approach, called topological qubits, promises qubits that are more stable than those used in rival designs and are designed to allow quantum computations to run longer. Unlike rival quantum computer makers, Microsoft hasn’t yet demonstrated that technology, though.

The opening of Azure Quantum marks the latest step in the commercialization of quantum computing, which promises to tackle problems that are out of conventional machines’ reach. BMW, Airbus and Roche are among those trying out quantum computers, although it will be years before it’s practical for more than research projects.

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Google’s quantum computing division will help develop new drugs

By Steve Dent

Google's-Quantum-computing-division-develop-new-drugs
A handout picture from October 2019 shows Sundar Pichai and Daniel Sank (R) with one of Google’s Quantum Computers in the Santa Barbara lab, California, U.S. Picture taken in October 2019. .

It teamed with Boehringer Ingelheim to do molecular dynamics simulations. 

Google’s Quantum AI division is teaming with pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim to develop new types of drugs, the companies announced. The idea is to research and develop quantum computing tech to do “molecular dynamics” simulations, or the study of how molecules and atoms move. Boehringer Ingelheim has developed a new quantum lab for the three-year project, saying it’s the “first pharmaceutical company worldwide to join forces with Google in quantum computing.”

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IBM ‘super-fridge’ aims to solve quantum computer cooling problem

The world’s first super fridge for a 1-million-qubit quantum computer.
The world’s first super fridge for a 1-million-qubit quantum computer.

IBM has ambitions to build a million-qubit quantum computer. To get there, it is building a fridge bigger than anything commercially available. 15 December 2020 

  • IBM has set out a roadmap to develop larger qubit systems – from its current quantum computer of 64 qubits to a 1-million-qubit.
  • To move to a million-plus qubit machine, IBM is developing a dilution refrigerator, which would be larger than any currently available commercially

Say GoldenEye and the 1995 James Bond movie comes to mind, not a giant refrigerator.

But that’s the name computing giant IBM has given to a new refrigeration system in development designed to house the world’s first 1-million-qubit quantum computer.

At 10 feet tall and six feet wide, GoldenEye will go to a temperature of around 15 milli-kelvins or -459 Fahrenheit – or colder than outer space. These are the temperatures required to slow down the movement of atoms, so qubits can hold value. 

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