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​PsiQuantum Will Partner with DARPA to Accelerate Path to Build the World’s First Utility-Scale Quantum Computer



US2QC program seeks to evaluate underexplored fast paths to fault-tolerant quantum computing.


Press release from PsiQuantum
February 1st 2023 | 173 readers

​PsiQuantum Will Partner with DARPA to Accelerate Path to Build the World’s First Utility-Scale Quantum Computer
PsiQuantum today announced that it has signed a contract with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to perform on the Utility-Scale Quantum Computing (US2QC) program, which underpins the U.S. government’s commitment to identify companies with credible roadmaps to building a useful quantum computer in the near term.

“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.”

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The partnership, which follows the recently announced collaboration between PsiQuantum and the Air Force Research Lab, is the result of a competitive applications process that included DARPA assessing candidate quantum computing companies for their ability to achieve the scaling needed for error-corrected quantum computing. After DARPA and other quantum experts across the United States government performed a thorough review of the PsiQuantum team, roadmap and critical technical milestones achieved to date, the company was selected to partner with DARPA for the US2QC program.

One of PsiQuantum’s goals for this program is to develop a deeper partnership with the United States government and enable the company to draw on DARPA’s distinguished expertise in the practical realization of advanced technology. This engagement will examine the challenges associated with building fault-tolerant quantum computers – much larger and more capable than existing, small-scale “NISQ” systems – and will evaluate the prospects for building such systems on a shorter timeframe than has been predicted for competing approaches.

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

“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.

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.”

Joe Altepeter, Program Manager for US2QC at DARPA, has said on Quantum Computing:

“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.”


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