The Underexplored Systems for Utility-Scale Quantum Computing (US2QC) program advances with PsiQuantum and DARPA collaborative agreement

Quantum And Darpa

PsiQuantum, a California-based silicon photonics and fault-tolerant quantum software company, has recently announced that it has entered into an agreement with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to work on the Underexplored Systems for Utility-Scale Quantum Computing (US2QC) program. This program supports the U.S. government’s commitment to finding businesses with solid plans to develop a practical quantum computer soon.

“PsiQuantum has been consistent since our inception that error correction will be required to deliver useful quantum applications. This announcement underscores not only the combined successes of the team we have assembled, but also DARPA’s commitment to explore technologies to achieve error-corrected quantum computing, and we welcome the opportunity to work together on the technical challenges associated with large-scale quantum computing systems.”

Jeremy O’Brien, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of PsiQuantum

The collaboration, which comes after the recently revealed partnership between PsiQuantum and the Air Force Research Lab, is the outcome of a competitive application process in which DARPA evaluated potential quantum computing companies for their ability to attain the scaling considered necessary for error-corrected quantum computing.

The PsiQuantum team, roadmap, and significant technical achievements accomplished to date were thoroughly examined by DARPA and other quantum experts throughout the US government before the company was chosen to collaborate with DARPA for the US2QC initiative.

Underexplored Systems for Utility-Scale Quantum Computing (US2QC) program

Primarily, the goal of US2QC is to see if a new method of quantum computing is capable of achieving utility-scale operation – meaning that its computational value surpasses its cost – significantly faster than traditional expectations. US2QC will accomplish this goal by conducting thorough, collaborative, and flexible verification and validation with ongoing research and development efforts.

“Using single photons as qubits offers huge advantages, yet this approach to quantum computing has been surprisingly underexplored, especially in the United States. The advantages of the photonic approach – including its potential to leverage existing semiconductor manufacturing techniques – are most apparent at scale, and we believe this was a major contributing factor in the contract being awarded.

PsiQuantum has invested exclusively in solving the hard and complex problems associated with building large-scale quantum computers, and we believe that both our track record of predictable progress, and the depth and viability of our future plans, contributed to our selection as a partner.”

Jeremy O’Brien, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of PsiQuantum

One of PsiQuantum’s goals for this program is to build stronger cooperation with the US government, allowing the company to benefit from DARPA’s outstanding expertise in the practical realization of sophisticated technologies. This collaboration will investigate the hurdles of developing fault-tolerant quantum computers that are far more extensive and capable than present, small-scale “NISQ‘” systems, as well as the prospects for building such systems in a faster period than competing techniques have anticipated.

“It has been credibly hypothesized that quantum computers will revolutionize multiple scientific and technical fields within the next few decades. Examples include machine learning, quantum chemistry, materials discovery, molecular simulation, many-body physics, classification, nonlinear dynamics, supply chain optimization, drug discovery, battery catalysis, genomic analysis, fluid dynamics, and protein structure prediction.”

Joe Altepeter, Program Manager for US2QC at DARPA

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