Interview: U.S. Department of Energy Quantum Testbed Pathfinder Project
In depth interview with Oak Ridge National Labs’ Raphael Pooser. Raphael leads the Quantum Computing Testbed project at ORNL. Recommend taking the time to read through from the source at the link below. Because Quantum is Coming. Qubit.
ORNL’s Raphael Pooser on DoE’s Quantum Testbed Project
+ Quantum computing and quantum information science generally are areas of aggressive research at the Department of Energy. Their promise, of course, is tantalizing – vast computational scale and impenetrable communication, for starters. Depending on how one defines practical utility, a few applications may not be just distant visions. At least that’s the hope. The most visible sign of that hope and worry about falling behind in a global race to practical quantum computing writ large is the $1.2B U.S. Quantum Initiative passed in 2018.
+ Broadly, DoE’s Quantum Testbed project is a multi-institution effort involving national labs and academia whose mission has two prongs: one – the Quantum Testbed Pathfinder – is intended to assess quantum computing technologies and deliver tools and benchmarks; and the second – the Quantum Testbeds for Science – is intended to provide quantum computing resources to the research community to foster understanding of how to best use quantum computing to advance science.
+ Part of what’s noteworthy here is the project’s candid acknowledgement of quantum computing’s nascent stage or the so-called NISQ era in which noisy intermediate scale quantum computers dominate. The Quantum Testbed program is trying to figure out how to improve and make practical use of NISQ systems while also pursuing fault-tolerant quantum computers. Moreover, the whole quantum computing community is seeking to demonstrate quantum advantage – that is use of a quantum computer to do something practical sufficiently faster (and more economical) than a classical computer to warrant switching to quantum computing for that application.
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