The US Battle For Quantum Supremacy Over China Gathers Pace With Verizon’s historic QKD Test In Washington D.C.

Angelena Iglesia

Of all the announcements Verizon will make in 2020, the completion of a simple video trial between three offices in Washington D.C. might turn out to be the one people remember.

Completed in June but only made public last week, Verizon engineers streamed video from the company’s 5G Lab to screens at two offices two miles distant. It sounds mundane because the remarkable part of this demo was completely invisible – the background use of Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) to secure the communication.

QKD, or course, is a hugely demanding technology that’s spent the last 30 years being honed in physics labs around the world with the occasional proof-of-concept demo to record milestones such as new distance records and advancing bit rates.

Progress has inched forward, almost a matter of waiting for the telecom, fiber optic, and microprocessor technologies it

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Researchers on a path to build powerful and practical quantum computer

Angelena Iglesia

WASHINGTON — For the first time, researchers have designed a fully connected 32-qubit trapped-ion quantum computer register operating at cryogenic temperatures. The new system represents an important step toward developing practical quantum computers.

Junki Kim from Duke University will present the new hardware design at the inaugural OSA Quantum 2.0 conference to be co-located as an all-virtual event with OSA Frontiers in Optics and Laser Science APS/DLS (FiO + LS) conference 14 – 17 September.

Instead of using traditional computer bits that can only be a zero or a one, quantum computers use qubits that can be in a superposition of computational states. This allows quantum computers to solve problems that are too complex for traditional computers.

Trapped-ion quantum computers are among the most promising type of quantum technology for quantum computing, but it has been challenging to create these computers with enough qubits for practical use.

“In collaboration with

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Calculating the benefits of exascale and quantum computers | US Department of Energy Science News

Angelena Iglesia


DOE/US Department of Energy

A quintillion calculations a second. That’s one with 18 zeros after it. It’s the speed at which an exascale supercomputer will process information. The Department of Energy (DOE) is preparing for the first exascale computer to be deployed in 2021. Two more will follow soon after. Yet quantum computers may be able to complete more complex calculations even faster than these up-and-coming exascale computers. But these technologies complement each other much more than they compete.

It’s going to be a while before quantum computers are ready to tackle major scientific research questions. While quantum researchers and scientists in other areas are collaborating to design quantum computers to be as effective as possible once they’re ready, that’s still a long way off. Scientists are figuring out how to build qubits for quantum computers, the very foundation of the technology. They’re establishing the most fundamental quantum algorithms

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Sussex study enables predicting computational power of early quantum computers

Angelena Iglesia


IMAGE: Visual depiction of the algorithm used to increase the computational power of early quantum computers.
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Credit: Winfried Hensinger, University of Sussex

  • University of Sussex quantum physicists have developed an algorithm which helps early quantum computers to perform calculations most efficiently
  • The team used their model to calculate the expected computational power of early quantum computers
  • Their research highlights a fundamental advantage of the ‘trapped ion’ approach over other methods

Quantum physicists at the University of Sussex have created an algorithm that speeds up the rate of calculations in the early quantum computers which are currently being developed. They have created a new way to route the ions – or charged atoms – around the quantum computer to boost the efficiency of the calculations.

The Sussex team have shown how calculations in such a quantum computer can be done most efficiently, by using their new ‘routing algorithm’. Their

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Amazon’s Braket Quantum Cloud Service Now Open For Business

Angelena Iglesia

Since late 2019, Amazon Braket has been in private preview. However, Amazon AWS recently announced its general availability. Customers can purchase quantum computing services directly from the Amazon Braket platform.

Amazon named the service after a standard quantum notation called Bra–ket that was created in the late 1930s by Paul Dirac, a famous theoretical physicist.

Braket is a fully managed AWS service that provides a mostly technology-agnostic environment. It offers customers the capability to design, develop, test, and run their quantum algorithms. Braket also offers simulated quantum computers that use Amazon EC2 computing resources and can simulate up to 34 qubits for testing and troubleshooting algorithms.

For now, the service is currently available in the following AWS regions: US East (N. Virginia), US West (N. California), and US West (Oregon).  

Quantum processors

Braket offers a choice of three different quantum hardware technologies.

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What Is Quantum Supremacy And Quantum Computing? (And How Excited Should We Be?)

Angelena Iglesia

In 2019, Google announced with much fanfare that it had achieved “quantum supremacy” –the point at which a quantum computer can perform a task that would be impossible for a conventional computer (or would take so long it would be entirely impractical for a conventional computer).

To achieve quantum supremacy, Google’s quantum computer completed a calculation in 200 seconds that Google claimed would have taken even the most powerful supercomputer 10,000 years to complete. IBM loudly protested this claim, stating that Google had massively underestimated the capacity of its supercomputers (hardly surprising since IBM also has skin in the quantum computing game). Nonetheless, Google’s announcement was hailed as a significant milestone in the quantum computing journey.

But what exactly is quantum computing?

Not sure what quantum computing is? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. In very

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