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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/T005386/1
Title: Scalable Qubit Arrays for Quantum Computing and Optimisation
Principal Investigator: Pritchard, Dr JD
Other Investigators:
Daley, Professor A J Riis, Professor E
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
M Squared Lasers Ltd
Department: Physics
Organisation: University of Strathclyde
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 December 2019 Ends: 30 November 2024 Value (£): 2,177,072
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Information Technologies
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
16 Jul 2019 Prosperity Partnerships RD3 Interview Panel 2019 Announced
04 Jun 2019 Prosperity Partnerships RD3 Prioritisation Panel Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Quantum mechanics provides a transformative approach to computing that is able to deliver computational performance surpassing the capability of modern digital hardware with as few as a hundred low-noise qubits. Quantum computers therefore offer a wide economic impact through access to disruptive new solutions to problems in both academia and industry, such as quantum chemistry for enhanced drug design or modelling of correlated media for designing new materials for aerospace and engineering. Quantum computation can also provide a dramatic speed-up of computationally expensive problems ranging from classical optimisation relevant to logistics (e.g. travelling salesman type problems) and financial services sectors or security and defence (e.g. factorisation). A major barrier to realising the benefits of quantum computation is developing a system with a large number of low-noise qubits.

This Prosperity Partnership exploits a unique opportunity to combine the capabilities in advanced laser systems and quantum system integration of M Squared Lasers with the cold-atom and quantum algorithm expertise at the University of Strathclyde. Our vision is to develop SQuAre (Scalable Qubit Arrays) - a promising architecture for quantum computation and optimisation based on reconfigurable arrays of neutral atoms that is able to overcome the limitations in scaling of existing qubit architectures. This approach offers a highly competitive route to scalable quantum computation with large numbers of identical qubits capable of performing high-quality quantum gates, as demonstrated in recent experimental breakthroughs.

Our Partnership combines the critical skills and knowledge that are integral to development of this new architecture. Together, we will

- build a versatile platform for neutral atom quantum computing using scalable arrays of up to 100 qubits;

- develop new algorithms and applications that solve industrially-relevant computation and optimisation problems through working directly with academic and industrial end-users;

- create a software architecture to provide an accessible interface to programming the quantum hardware abstracted from the technical implementation;

- perform characterisation and benchmarking of algorithms on our hardware to demonstrate a near-term practical advantage of quantum computation.

The proposed research program will address important open questions relating to whether the quantum advantage for optimisation problems is preserved as the system scales, and how qubit imperfections affect the ability to obtain the ideal solutions. Early benefits of the Partnership will see development of new advanced laser systems and experiment control hardware that will establish the required supply chain technologies to underpin future scaling and commercialisation of the SQuAre platform to reach 1000 qubits within 10 years.

This Prosperity Partnership has a strong foundation in the existing strategic relationship between M Squared Lasers and the University of Strathclyde with a track record in developing and commercialising novel quantum and photonics technologies. The Prosperity Partnership will transform our collaboration from globally competitive to internationally leading, placing the UK at the forefront of the rapidly growing field of neutral atom quantum computation in terms of academic leadership, validation of algorithms in real-life applications and commercial availability of quantum computing systems and components.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Organisation Website: http://www.strath.ac.uk