Noyce Conference Room

Meeting Summary:

1. Motivation

Quantum computing offers a qualitative advance over current computing technology. Physical systems where quantum effects are important, ranging from superconductors to QCD effects in atomic nuclei to energy transfer in chlorophyll, could be simulated efficiently without ignoring coherence and entanglement. RSA public-key encryption, elliptic curve cryptography, and Diffie-Hellman key exchange could all be cracked, while new quantum computing protocols could offer fundamental guarantees of privacy. Even for problems where no exponential quantum speedup is known, Grover’s algorithm and its variants could provide an enormous improvement, searching spaces of possible solutions in only N1/2 time.

While many physical implementations of quantum computing have been proposed, this proposal focuses on fully-connected architectures, where any qubit can be addressed and interactions between any pair of qubits can be controlled. These architectures would enable truly programmable quantum computers, where we can compile arbitrary quantum algorithms and circuits into series of elementary one- and two-qubit operations.

The aspiration is that bringing together researchers from diverse scientific backgrounds will engender fresh thinking and innovative approaches that will provide a fertile ground for new ideas on the design and fabrication of quantum devices and processors and implementation of quantum information processing algorithms. The goal is to form teams of domain scientists and engineers that will develop multidisciplinary ideas that will be submitted as full proposals.

Topics to be discussed at the Ideas Lab include:

  • Applications: 

o    Adapt: applications to machine architecture and scale

o    Design: algorithm design and quantum circuitry development

o    Quantum algorithms: factoring, search, and optimization algorithms, quantum simulations

  • Software: 

o    User interface: efficient, user-friendly interaction with the quantum processors

o    Quantum compiler: translate algorithms, adapt them to machine architecture

o    Cost-based metrics optimization: qubits-used count, gate count, runtime, fidelity, energy use

o    Quantum control: state initialization, gate operations, readouts

  • Hardware: 

o    Physics: physical qubits, quantum control

o    Devices: on-chip integration of qubit entanglement, gate operations, and quantum control

o    Systems engineeringarchitecture, interconnects

  • Quality Control: 

o    Benchmarking: application-specific and system benchmarks

2. Ideas Lab “Practical Fully-Connected Quantum Computer Challenge (PFCQC)”

The Ideas Lab is organized by the National Science Foundation, solicitation NSF 17-548. The call for proposal can be found here at (link is external).

Timeline and Application Details:

o    June 19, 2017, preliminary proposal (two-pages)

o    August 28 – September, 2017, Ideas Lab at the Santa Fe Institute, invitation only

o    November 30, 2017, full proposal, invitation only

The preliminary proposals are due by June 19, 2017. For the preliminary proposal interested researchers should submit a two-page proposal application. The participation in the Ideas Lab taking place from August 28 to September 1, 2017, at the Santa Fe Institute is by invitation only. Participants will be selected from the pool of applicants that submitted a preliminary proposal. After discussions at the Ideas Lab, full proposals are due by November 30, 2017.

Who can apply: The ability to develop and pursue a new approach will be crucial. Applications are encouraged from individuals representing diverse research areas across a range of disciplines.  Applicants should not feel limited by conventional perceptions: the Ideas Lab approach is about bringing people together who would not normally interact. We actively encourage people to apply who are experts in their own research areas, but have not yet applied it to this challenge.

3. What is an Ideas Lab?

The Ideas Lab is an intensive, interactive and free-thinking environment, where a diverse group of participants from a range of disciplines and backgrounds gets together for five days – away from their everyday worlds – to immerse themselves in collaborative thinking processes to construct innovative approaches. It will involve up to 25 participants that will be expected to engage constructively in dialogue with one another and the Director and mentors to develop collaborative research proposals. Collaboration is an integral aspect of the activity. The Ideas Lab will run over five days starting mid-morning on Day One and finishing mid-afternoon on Day Five. At the outset, the participants will work collaboratively to identify and define the scope of the research challenges relating to the development and operation of a practical fully-connected quantum computer. As the Ideas Lab progresses, participants will dynamically develop and hone novel ideas about how the identified challenges may be addressed, and then use these ideas and approaches to develop research projects, which should contain genuinely innovative and potentially risk-taking investigations. The Ideas Lab will include inputs from a variety of sources and will aim to develop collaborative research projects. Following the Ideas Lab, the teams with the best ideas may be invited to submit a full proposal.

Research Collaboration
SFI Host:
Cris Moore

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