Oak Ridge teams get $10.5 million to try to make quantum algorithms work on near term architectures

Two Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Quantum Information Science Group teams received more than $10 million over five years to both assess the feasibility of quantum architectures in addressing big science problems and to develop algorithms capable of harnessing the massive power predicted of quantum computing systems. The two projects are intended to work in concert to ensure synergy across DOE’s quantum computing research spectrum and maximize mutual benefits.

They will evaluate the performance of a suite of applications on near-term quantum architectures.

“Quantum applications that are more exact and faster than their classical counterparts exist or have been proposed in all of these fields, at least theoretically,” said Pooser. “Our job is to determine whether we can get them to work on today’s quantum hardware and on the hardware of the near future.”

Many of these applications have never been programmed for quantum architectures before, which presents a unique challenge. Because today’s quantum computers are relatively small, applications must be tuned to the hardware to maximize performance and accuracy. This requires a deep understanding of the uniquely quantum areas of the programs, and it requires running them on various quantum architectures to assess their validity, and ultimately their feasibility.

They will pursue an algorithm design approach that combines best features of digital and analog quantum computing with the end goal of matching the complexity of quantum simulation algorithms to available quantum architectures. Because development and deployment of quantum hardware is a nascent field compared to traditional computing platforms, the team will also harness the power of hybrid quantum systems that use a combination of quantum computers and traditional processors.