Manufacturing Bits: Nov. 30

Quantum chemistry; quantum internet; quantum memory.


Quantum chemistry
QunaSys has launched a technology that enables researchers to perform chemical calculations using quantum computers in the cloud.

The company has announced the launch of the cloud version of Qamuy, which is supported by Amazon Web Services Japan. Qamuy is a software technology that allows researchers to perform chemical calculations using quantum computers.

Developers can perform chemical calculations over real quantum computers accessible through Amazon Braket, a quantum computing service designed to help speed up scientific research and software development for quantum computing. Amazon Braket enables researchers at universities and national labs to perform experimentation with different quantum hardware technologies in one place.

Quantum computing is different than today’s computing. In classical computing, the information is stored in bits, which can be either a “0” or “1”. In quantum computing, the information is stored in quantum bits, or qubits, which can exist as a “0” or “1” or a combination of both.

The superposition state enables a quantum computer to perform multiple calculations at once, enabling it to outperform a traditional system. But the technology faces a number of challenges, and many industry experts believe these systems are still a decade away from being practical.

Today, though, quantum computing provides some capabilities to one degree or another. For example, the objective of computational quantum chemistry software from QunaSys is to calculate physical properties, such as interactions, dynamics of molecules and reaction rates based on the principles of quantum mechanics. Qamuy provides an easy-to-use interface for chemistry experts to test quantum algorithms regardless of their quantum computing expertise. Applications include novel drugs, catalyst materials and batteries.

The cloud version of Qamuy allows “anyone to access quantum computers and perform chemistry calculations,” said Tennin Yan, CEO of QunaSys. “We believe we can advance real chemistry industrial use cases over existing quantum computers. Qamuy will gradually be accessible over the existing quantum computing platforms and QunaSys will continue to increase its algorithm library.”

Quantum internet
QuTech—a collaboration between Delft University of Technology and TNO—have launched an open-access quantum internet.

The technology, called the Quantum Network Explorer (QNE), is aimed at researchers, students, software developers and future users of quantum network applications. Anyone can freely access and explore QNE.

Still in the early stages of development, a quantum internet could connect quantum computers all over the world. The world may one day have a quantum internet and a multitude of private quantum intranets.

In either case, these systems will send and receive qubits between any two places on earth. In today’s computing, the networks are prone to attacks by hackers. In quantum networks, though, the information is sent and received over a secure network. Combining a quantum internet and a networked quantum computer allows remote users to perform secure quantum computing in the cloud.

In the first step towards the quantum internet, QuTech aims to connect two quantum nodes located in Delft and The Hague, both in the Netherlands. This link will be extended with other quantum nodes connecting multiple locations.

In 2018, the company devised two quantum nodes, which were connected by 1.3 km of fiber-optic cables. In 2021, the company realized the first multi-node quantum network, connecting three quantum processors.

Researchers are also developing quantum memories and quantum repeaters. These components are required to extend quantum networks over even longer distances.

Nonetheless, QuTech’s QNE is the first step in the development of a quantum internet. QuTech has devised an easy-to-use graphical interface that allows you to explore pre-built applications without any programming. The company has also developed an application development kit (ADK), which allows you to program new protocols and applications for real quantum networks on your own.

Quantum memory
Qunnect has announced the sale of the world’s first commercial quantum memory to Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Quantum memories are core components used in quantum repeaters. Quantum repeaters “repeat and improve the quality of the signal,” according to QuTech. “A quantum repeater is necessary for establishing long-distance communications on a quantum network.”

Qunnect’s so-called Quantum Memory is the core of the company’s Quantum Repeater product suite. In the process, entangled pairs of photons are generated by a quantum computer. Then, they are transmitted along separate fibers.

“The information contained in these photon-pairs is connected to one another, regardless of the distance between each other,” according to Qunnect. “Quantum transactions require exquisite timing, so it is critical to synchronize the photons traveling along fibers of different lengths. We use quantum memories to perform this operation. However, they are not efficient at telecom frequencies, so the telecom photons first need to be processed by a frequency converter, then sent onto the quantum memory buffers for storage.”

Qunnect’s quantum memory stores and releases single photons, while preserving their quantum state at a fidelity above 95%. Quantum memory does not require extreme cooling or vacuum support infrastructure for operation.

“As fiber-based quantum testbeds are being built across the globe, we look forward to supporting their infrastructure.” said Noel Goddard, CEO of Qunnect. “We are also grateful to our investors and the Federal agencies who enabled this accomplishment, and continue to support our vision of realizing prototypes of the full Quantum Repeater product suite in early 2022.”

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