Quantum week: IQT Fall, security, international cooperation, error correction and more


So much has happened on the quantum technology front this week that it would be unwise to try to put it all together in one synthetic story… but we’ll try anyway.

Here’s a look at what’s been happening on the quantum computing front and regarding all other quantum things this week:

ICYMI, IBM proposed a new metric for measuring the speed of quantum computing systems – circuit layer operations per second (CLOPS). How many CLOPS is IBM’s newest quantum system capable of? You’ll have to read this story to find out.

… Tthe hat ad was detailed by Bob SutorIBM’s senior quantum representative at this week’s Inside Quantum Technology fall conference, where speakers also made some pretty serious comments on the state of post-quantum cryptography (PQC) – that is, that is, a cryptography that will withstand the efforts of future quantum computers to crack it. The National Institute of Standards and Technology coordinates the efforts of many international bodies working on PQC standards and may have news for the industry in the coming months, but for many new safety standards cannot come soon enough. .

William Layton, senior expert in quantum resistance cryptography at the National Security Agency, told IQT Fall that he hopes the PQC standards will arrive soon so that the long period of testing, validating and adopting the new standards can begin. .

“I’m more worried about the real pain of bringing the solutions out into the world,” he said. “There are millions of devices that have some sort of crypto. You can fix people’s browsers in a month, but all these devices out there – it’s painful and very long and I wish it would start as soon as possible.

Why the urgency? Because, as others in the industry have noted, it is of great concern that bad actors are already stealing data that they cannot decrypt at the moment, but are planning to use a quantum computer to decrypt at the moment. ‘to come up. As another IQT panelist, John Prisco, President and CEO of Safe Quantum Incorporated, put it: “The reason you are worried about this right now is that you have [data] harvest is underway at the moment. I’m sure China is copying whatever it can get its hands on.

China has also been the subject from her own panel at IQT Fall, during which Laura Thomas, who worked for the CIA and is now senior director of national security solutions at quantum technology company ColdQuanta, highlighted the inability of the world’s national security groups whole to keep up with emerging potential and quantum-related threats.

“The emphasis is still on recruiting the next spy when it should be more focused on emerging technologies,” she said. “15, 20 or 30 years ago, we had time to think about how to respond [to threats.] Now software code can make a difference overnight. The national security mindset is still lagging behind.

Beyond IQT, quantum was in the news elsewhere this week, including at Biden’s White House, which has done its best to keep pace. In the latest quantum-flavored geopolitical move, the US and UK released a joint statement declaring their intention to “strengthen collaboration to help realize the full potential of quantum technologies and deepen ties” between the two countries.

… In the increasingly busy field of quantum finance, UK Research and Innovation announced funding of £ 50million ($ 67.4million) across 12 different quantum technology projects.

… Error correction is one of the most critical areas in need of improvement for quantum computing systems to realize their full potential, and start-up Q-CTRL this week announced the results of new algorithmic benchmarking experiences showing that “alternative quantum logic operations built using quantum control can improve the success of quantum algorithms on real hardware by> 25X at no additional cost to the user,” according to a company statement .

The experiments were performed on several IBM quantum computers, and also “showed that the new quantum logic gates were over 400 times more effective at preventing computational errors than any previously demonstrated techniques, greatly simplifying the process for a user. to achieve improved performance, ”the statement said. noted.

It was quantum week. Watch for our weekly reports on future Friday afternoons …


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