ColdQuanta, the quantum atomics company, has been selected by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop a scalable, cold-atom-based quantum computing hardware and software platform that can demonstrate quantum advantage on real-world problems. The award is valued at up to $7.4M.
The DARPA award is part of the ONISQ program—Optimization with Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum devices—aimed at developing quantum systems that can scale to hundreds or thousands of qubits with high performance and reliability. The objective is to show quantum advantage of quantum-hybrid systems over classical systems for a range of difficult combinatorial optimization problems including resource allocation, logistics, and image recognition. ColdQuanta’s Quantum Core™ technology uses lasers to cool atoms to near absolute zero and can use individual atoms as qubits in a scalable manner, all without the need for cryogenic refrigeration.
“We are honored by this award from DARPA and consider it strong validation of our cold atom quantum architecture and the extraordinary expertise of our collective team,” said Bo Ewald, CEO of ColdQuanta. “The ONISQ program will drive the industry forward and lead to unprecedented quantum computational capabilities for crucial defense and intelligence applications. Many of these same optimization problems are also applicable to complex industrial applications.”
ColdQuanta’s partners in this collaboration are the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Raytheon Technologies, Argonne National Laboratory, University of Chicago, NIST Gaithersburg, University of Colorado Boulder, University of Innsbruck, and Tufts University.
“We’re thrilled to embark on this program with ColdQuanta and our partners,” said Mark Saffman, Chief Scientist for Quantum Information at ColdQuanta and Professor of Physics, University of Wisconsin–Madison. “The capabilities of the team will enable us to deliver on all aspects of the ONISQ program—hardware, software, applications, and benchmarking.”
“Argonne is delighted to collaborate with ColdQuanta and other partners to use the largest supercomputers in the world to demonstrate quantum advantage and perform benchmarks,” said Yuri Alexeev, Principal Project Specialist at Argonne and a Senior Scientist at the University of Chicago.
ColdQuanta is leading the development of hardware, control systems, and interface software, and has already begun work on the project. The partner organizations will supply a range of components, develop use cases and applications, provide expertise in quantum computation and quantum simulation, and perform benchmarking using world-class classical supercomputers.