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By GCN Staff

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DOE, Google back quantum computing research

The Department of Energy is investing in a project to speed the development of unhackable quantum encryption technology that will protect the country's power grid from cyberattack.

Under the DOE's Cybersecurity for Energy Delivery Systems program, the nation's top program for grid security, San Diego startup Qubitekk was awarded $3 million to work in partnership with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the University of Texas at Austin, Sandia National Laboratory and Pacific Gas & Electric to develop practical quantum security for the nation’s power grid.

Qubitekk, founded in 2012 to commercialize technology required to speed the adoption of quantum computing, recently announced the availability of the world's first plug-and-play entangled photon generator, the QES1. Like the transistors at the hearts of classical computers, the QES1 enables the flow of information through quantum computers and quantum encryption products – both of which the company is currently developing.

Meanwhile, Google is planning to build its own quantum computer. The Quantum Artificial Intelligence team at Google is launching a hardware initiative to design and build new quantum information processors based on superconducting electronics, according to a Google+ post by the lab team. Google also announced that John Martinis and his team at UC Santa Barbara will join Google in the initiative.

Google has been working with D-Wave Systems, maker of the quantum computer being tested by the Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab at NASA’s Ames Research Center. Martinis will try to make his own versions of the kind of chip inside a D-Wave machine.

The Google Quantum AI team will test “new designs for quantum optimization and inference processors based on recent theoretical insights as well as our learnings from the D-Wave quantum annealing architecture,” Google said. The company will continue to work with D-Wave scientists and to experiment with the 512-qubit “Vesuvius” machine at NASA Ames that will be upgraded to a 1000 qubit “Washington” processor.

Posted by GCN Staff on Sep 10, 2014 at 11:10 AM


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