For years, quantum computing, which leverages the difficult, and, to many, spooky science of quantum mechanics, has been a subject mostly of interest to the technical elite. Yet as scientists and now policymakers point to the rapid progress that China is making in the field, it’s the intelligence community that appears to be the most alarmed.
The Senate cleared the way for the president to approve implementation of a 10-year plan to accelerate quantum computing research and development. The National Quantum Initiative Act, introduced by Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Commerce Committee, passed the Senate Dec. 14 by unanimous consent.
China has been pushed into third place on a list of the world's most powerful supercomputers. The latest list by Top 500, published twice a year, puts two US machines - Summit and Sierra - in the top two places. The US has five entries in the top 10, with other entries from Switzerland, Germany and Japan.
While the International Space Station (ISS) is a technological marvel, it has not traditionally had a lot of onboard processing capacity. That changed last year when NASA delivered a supercomputer to the station. It was only there for a test run, but now the agency plans to use it for processing data and running experiments. Eventually, NASA and manufacturer HP hope to understand why some parts of the computer work well in orbit and others don’t.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced that Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s National Energy Research Scientific Computing (NERSC) Center has signed a contract with Cray for NERSC’s next-generation supercomputer, a pre-exascale machine slated to be delivered in 2020. Named “Perlmutter,” in honor of Berkeley Lab’s Nobel Prize winning astrophysicist Saul Perlmutter, it is the first NERSC system specifically designed to meet the needs of large-scale simulations as well as data analysis from experimental and observational facilities.
The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy held a Quantum Initiative Summit on September 24 at which it unveiled the National Strategic Overview for Quantum Information Science. A summary of the event can be read HERE.
The small world of quantum physics is a big deal on the frontier of computer science. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella rates quantum computing as one of three key technologies that will shape his company’s future, along with artificial intelligence and mixed reality.
With at least six federal agencies supporting quantum computing research and at least 10 agencies supporting synthetic biology research, more collaboration is needed to effectively marshal the agencies’ efforts to maintain U.S. competitiveness, according to a new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).
An explosive report published by Bloomberg Businessweek on Thursday claimed the Chinese military sabotaged circuit boards used by dozens of major American companies and government contractors by implanting a tiny chip that gave the People’s Liberation Army backdoor access to supposedly secure systems. The report cited a U.S. investigation long in progress but only now revealed to the public.
The United States government has unveiled a slew of different Quantum Information Science (QIS) projects, with several different initiatives set to help the nation prepare for a future with quantum computers and quantum communications systems.