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Posted: April 28, 2010

US Army and NSA are soliciting proposals for development of quantum computing technology

(Nanowerk News) The U.S. Army Research Office (ARO) together with the National Security Agency (NSA) is soliciting proposals for basic and applied research to advance quantum computing technology. Research areas of particular interest include:
Area of Interest 1: Robust Solid-State Qubits and Related Technologies
Qubits are the foundation of both memory and processing in quantum information systems. In this area of interest, we seek proposals that address the development of single-and few-qubit solid-state devices. Also considered will be proposals for major advances in related supporting technologies. Proposed research may be experimental, theoretical, or both, and should address at least one, and preferably several, of the following goals:
  • Extending the state-of-the-art in solid-state qubits in relation to key metrics of qubit performance including, for example, reproducibility, quantum coherence time, gate operation speed and fidelity, operating temperature, noise level, and/or materials/fabrication complexity.
  • Novel ideas for robust solid-state qubit design or fabrication. Examples could include, but are not limited to: topology or symmetry protected qubits, new material systems, new ways of organizing or addressing qubits, and/or new paradigms of quantum computation with imperfect components. (Anyonic or topological insulator proposals are not of interest.)
  • Theoretical analysis of solid-state qubit materials, devices, or systems to better quantify, predict, or improve relevant metrics for quantum computing performance.
  • Development of specific and revolutionary supporting technologies for solid-state qubits. Potential examples are materials science, readout devices or systems, amplifiers, or relevant electronics.
  • Proposals submitted to this Area of Interest should include a clear statement of the goals addressed, as well as the quantitative benefits of the proposed research compared to the state-of-the-art.
    Area of Interest 2: Quantum Information Transfer
    For quantum information processing systems, it is often preferable to have a means of sending quantum information beyond nearest-neighbor without large overhead costs (for example, without doing a large number of swap gates). This area of interest seeks innovative approaches to transfer quantum information in solid-state systems, including on-chip transfer, off-chip transfer, or both. Selected proposals will greatly advance the current state-of-the-art in relevant performance metrics for a specific solid-state qubit implementation. The following performance metrics should be addressed: overhead (in time, number of operations, or complexity), speed of transfer, fidelity, and footprint. Proposals submitted to this Area of Interest may be theoretical, experimental, or both.
    Area of Interest 3: Verification/Validation and Analysis of Quantum Computing Components
    A challenge for quantum information processing systems, especially as they increase in size, is the efficient and accurate verification/validation of their performance for the task at hand. In this third area of interest innovative proposals are sought to address the verification/validation of quantum information processor components. Possible topics could include, but are not limited to: advances/alternatives to quantum tomography; methods for extracting fidelity of gate or computation success; and methods or procedures for verifying complex quantum computations that cannot be classically simulated. Proposals may be theoretical, experimental, or both. Experimental implementations of innovative ideas for verification/validation are encouraged.
    While all innovative proposals relevant to the advancement of quantum computing technology will be considered, there is little interest in quantum algorithms, foundations of quantum mechanics, or new types of qubits that are not convincingly competitive with existing qubit designs. White papers and proposals submitted for topics in these areas are discouraged since they have little chance of being funded.
    Proposed efforts may consist of teams or single performers.
    Source: Department of the Army
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