DARPA to study long-term utility of quantum computers

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) within the US Department of Defense has launched a call for research proposals in the area of quantum benchmarking. Within the framework of a new Quantum Benchmarking programme, the agency intends to fund research that will quantify the long-term utility of quantum computers and offer insights into the ‘size, quality, and configuration of quantum computers’ that will enable them to revolutionise scientific and technical fields. More specifically, the programme is intended to cover the following issues: (a) analysis of applications that require large-scale, universal, fault-tolerant quantum computers to solve; (b) estimates of the classical and quantum resources required to execute quantum algorithms on large-scale, universal, fault-tolerant quantum computers; (c) applications of fault tolerance and error correction; (d) nontraditional quantum computing paradigms. Overall, Quantum Benchmarking is intended to create new benchmarks that quantitatively measure progress towards specific, transformational computational challenges, and estimate the hardware-specific resources required to achieve different levels of benchmark performance.