The Need for Accelerating Quantum Systems Development
The current state-of-the-art in noisy, intermediate scale quantum (NISQ) computation is characterized by a mismatch between quantum algorithms and available quantum technology. Algorithms are designed for execution on ideal, error-corrected machines whereas even the most advanced quantum hardware can only run a limited number of gates with modest fidelity. Routines that can be proven superior to their classical analogues require large numbers of entangled quantum bits (qubits) and many high-fidelity logical gate operations.
The capabilities to achieve both aims do not naturally occur in the physical world and are currently out of experimental reach as fault-tolerant quantum error correcting codes require large numbers of physical qubits to encode a single logical bit.
To bridge this gap and harness the potential of near-term quantum hardware, we need to accelerate the development of quantum systems in multiple technologies. Progress requires the simultaneous optimization of quantum algorithms with the hardware that will execute it, a process known as co-design. Progress also requires differentiation among quantum systems allowing the development of platform-specific algorithms and the identification of physical parameter regions that allow simultaneous improvement of the number and fidelity of the qubits.
Development to date has focused on particular platforms, including trapped ion, trapped atoms, superconducting, and other approaches to creating stable, reproducible quantum systems. We believe that such a stove-piped approach disregards many important synergies that can drive improvement for other platforms.
In addition to cooperative, multiplatform exploration of quantum platforms, we also believe that there is a great need for focused co-design of applications that can demonstrate a quantum advantage in scientific computation and simulation. Such a goal requires the development of platform-specific, noise-aware algorithms with increased amounts of noise-protection, integrated, custom classical control technologies to operate prototypes with large numbers of qubits, and tools to quantify the computational advantage of heuristic algorithms and evolving, first generation quantum hardware.
Our QIE experts are focused on these objectives to achieve quantum advantages for important scientific problems. Please visit the QIE experts page if you are interested in future collaborations.