Research consortia

In a unique holistic approach, the Munich Quantum Valley follows a "full-stack" quantum-computer model implementing cutting edge research results of quantum information science. Multidisciplinary consortia developing all layers, from hard- and software up to applications, create maximum synergy.

Hardware

The hardware-layer of quantum computers is given by a platform which provides qubits and gates to create superpositions and entangled states necessary for the quantum advantage over classical computers. Different realizations of qubit systems each have their distinct advantages and might be better suited for specific applications. For this reason, MQV consortia span three of the most promising technology platforms: the Superconducting Qubit Quantum Computer (SQQC) consortium deals with qubits based on superconducting circuits, while the Trapped-Atom Quantum Computer (TAQC) consortium implements platforms with trapped neutral-atoms as well as ions. The Hardware Adapted Theory (HAT) consortium supports the experimental efforts by providing strategies to optimize the performance of all three technology platforms.

Firmware

To manage all the hardware components, a layer of classical control, including fast microelectronic devices, is essential. For the desired industrialization of quantum computers, it is important to work on the necessary micro-architecture already at an early stage. The Scalable Hardware & Systems Engineering (SHARE) consortium addresses these challenges for all three technology platforms. System software needed to access the quantum systems is developed by the Quantum Development Environment, System Software & Integration (Q-DESSI) consortium. As on the hardware layer, the Hardware Adapted Theory (HAT) consortium provides support in performance optimization.

Software

Comprehensive software development is necessary, including system software, a suitable programming environment as well as user-facing tools. These challenges are addressed by the Quantum Development Environment, System Software & Integration (Q-DESSI) consortium which is also particularly concerned with developing techniques to link quantum computers with today’s high-performance computers. Theoretical guidance is provided by the Theoretical Quantum Computing (THEQUCO) consortium which is charged with tasks ranging from answering open questions in fundamental quantum information theory up to the development of quantum algorithms.

Application

Identifying use-cases for research and industry, such as the simulation of chemical systems or complex optimization tasks, is one goal of the Quantum Algorithms for Application, Cloud & Industry (QACI) consortium. It further aims at making quantum computing accessible to end users by providing the necessary tools and services, such as a cloud-computing infrastructure.

Details about MQV consortia

Superconducting Qubit Quantum Computer (SQQC)

To operate a quantum processor in the noisy intermediate-scale quantum (NISQ) era the Superconducting Qubit Quantum Computer (SQQC) consortium will implement fast (re-)calibration and tune-up schemes including specific firmware for the operation of generalized types of qubits. Efficient optimization algorithms including real-time pulse sequencing and high-fidelity reset operations for high trigger rates will be developed. In collaboration with the THEQUCO, Q-DESSI and HAT consortia, the SQQC consortium will then develop and run benchmark algorithms in a high-performance computing environment at elevated operation speed.

A further key goal of this consortium is the improvement of the coherence time of superconducting quantum circuits as a prerequisite for the successful operation of quantum algorithms on scalable architectures. Novel materials, enhanced fabrication processes and alternative types of superconducting qubits with small footprint are being investigated. To reach the project goals, the SQQC consortium will closely collaborate with the SHARE consortium and KQTPE on scalable fabrication, hetero-integration and packaging technology.

To realize two-qubit gate fidelities exceeding 99% both in planar chip geometries and in scalable 3D integrated quantum processors, the materials and fabrication effort will be supported by the development of optimal control methods and characterization schemes together with the HAT consortium and by full-processor benchmarking tools with the THEQUCO consortium. By developing non-reciprocal on-chip microwave components the SQQC consortium aims to enhance the system scalability, improve qubit readout and develop fast feedback control electronics for direct integration into a high-performance computing environment in collaboration with the Q-DESSI and SHARE consortia.

Trapped Atom Quantum Computer (TAQC)

The main focus of the Trapped-Atom Quantum Computing (TAQC) consortium is on the construction of a gate-based quantum computer based on neutral strontium atoms. Compared to other quantum-computing hardware platforms such as superconducting qubits or trapped ions, neutral atoms are a relatively new approach to quantum computing with a lower technology readiness level.

Together with our partners, the TAQC consortium will develop technology required to close this gap, advance neutral-atom quantum computers, and exploit the full potential of our platform for digital quantum computing. This includes fast and high-quality optical switches (together with partners at Qubig and the University of Heidelberg) and their fast electronic control (together with Fraunhofer IIS). The TAQC consortium will also leverage the synergies within the MQV to develop a remote access point to our quantum computing demonstrator, which allows for external users to remotely access the machine. This will enable higher-stack integration early on and fertilize the search for near-term applications. In supporting side projects, the TAQC consortium will explore alternative strategies to construct quantum computers and utilize entanglement as a resource in neutral-atom devices. Among these routes are the exploration and characterization of quantum computers based on laser-cooled ytterbium atoms, the construction of a quantum-enhanced optical atomic clock and the realization of an analog quantum-computing device to simulate quantum magnets.

Theoretical Quantum Computing (THEQUCO)

After a titanic effort, and more than twenty years of development, first prototypes of quantum computers have been built and demonstrated so-called quantum supremacy. At the same time, selected problems exist for which it is known that quantum algorithms can accelerate the solution. This has raised hopes that quantum computers will soon be able to address important problems that cannot be addressed with their classical counterparts.

The story is, however, far from being complete. Firstly, all existing and planned quantum computers are noisy and plagued with errors. Secondly, most quantum algorithms do not tolerate errors, which severely limits the applicability of quantum computers until they become error free. There exist some heuristic quantum algorithms, which might work under low error rates but whose efficiency over classical ones needs to be demonstrated. Additionally, algorithms for scalable devices are scarce. At the same time, the new prototypes of quantum computers have initiated several fundamental questions, ranging from their complexity to their capability of being used in machine learning.

This consortium addresses the theoretical questions raised above. It contributes to the development of the quantum information theory behind Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum (NISQ) and analog devices. It constructs new quantum algorithms both for present and planned scalable generations of devices. It also builds new methods and protocols to certify quantum computers and their capability of demonstrating a quantum advantage. Finally, it investigates the improvement of current quantum computers by establishing new control and error mitigation methods, and helps scaling them up by devising and improving error correction techniques.

Quantum Development Environment, System Software & Integration (Q-DESSI)

The Quantum Development Environment, System Software & Integration (Q-DESSI) consortium targets the creation of a Munich Quantum Software Stack: a unified software stack, enabling the use of quantum-computing systems for reliable, scalable and multi-user access, and supporting hybrid HPC/QC applications. It provides an interface between the quantum hardware work within the SQQC and TAQC consortia and associated projects such as MUNIQC-SC, MUNIQC-ATOMS, Q-EXA and the EU Flagship Project AQTION on one side, and the application and library developers on the other. The latter includes the MQV project QACI, partner projects such as QuaST and BayQS, along with the Bavarian, German and European user community in general.

The work within the Q-DESSI consortium entails the development of a programming environment, including problem-independent programming abstractions and development tools, hybrid abstractions integrating QC into Von-Neumann-based languages, quantum operating and runtime systems, new architectures for control processors as well as the integration into the HPC ecosystem. The goal is a comprehensive, integrated and reliable software infrastructure built to enable practical quantum computing.

The Q-DESSI consortium is led by the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) and brings together expertise from leading researchers in computer science from LMU, TUM and LRZ. It builds upon the HPC/QC testbed in LRZ’s Quantum Integration Center (QIC), which provides a realistic development platform by combining HPC and QC systems in a single location.

Scalable Hardware & Systems Engineering (SHARE)

The Scalable Hardware & Systems Engineering (SHARE) consortium is pursuing two main research objectives: the development of electronic components and systems for future quantum computers, and Semiconductor Technology and Integration for Functional and Scalable QC-Hardware.

In order to achieve the first objective, the quantum-computer microarchitecture will be addressed and interfaces to the quantum-computer architecture will be implemented. Hereby, the control and readout hardware must be customized regarding miniaturization and to enable larger qubit systems. New concepts for the simultaneous generation of a high number of phase-locked arbitrary waveform signals and parallel readouts must be developed by elaborating partitioning concepts for highly integrated components, yet considering the overall performance concerning noise, phase and for decreased readout error rates and increased gate fidelities.

Targeting the second objective, development activities focus on: the exploration of new materials for superconducting qubit systems, the scalability and reproducibility of superconductive circuits and the establishment of a manufacturing technology on 200 mm industrial grade equipment. Technologies for hetero integration including flip-chip, through-silicon vias and flexible interconnects will be developed, as they are essential for the realization of large qubit systems. In the same time efficient procedures for cryo-testing and characterization will be established and interlaced with the development of manufacturing and integration processes.

New concepts for the simultaneous generation of a large number of phase-locked arbitrary signals and parallel readouts will be developed.

Quantum Algorithms for Application, Cloud & Industry (QACI)

Applications investigated with the Quantum Algorithms for Application, Cloud & Industry (QACI) consortium are ranging from optimization tasks in commercial applications, simulation of quantum systems for chemical, pharmaceutical or battery research to quantum machine learning for fraud detection. Use-cases are identified together with industry partners from different fields such as Infineon, DATEV, Airbus, BMW, or Roche, taking part as associated partners in MQV-associated project proposals.

The focus will be on the implementation and evaluation of NISQ-compatible variational or kernel-based algorithms in order to identify a potential quantum advantage already on existing noisy hardware. For the underlying theory, the QACI consortium will work closely together with the THEQUCO consortium.

For development tools and processes the QACI consortium faces the challenge of making quantum software development as easy as possible for non-experts, while at the same time creating high-performance implementations of quantum algorithms as well as evaluation and verification tools tailored to specific use-cases. To that end, common core methods and data structures based on tensor networks and decision diagrams are developed, that facilitate use-case specific circuit optimization, automated problem analysis and initial concepts of trusted quantum computing.

Lastly, in close cooperation with the Q-DESSI consortium, a Bavarian Quantum Portal will be set up, providing access to remote, commercial quantum-computing hardware as well as a simulator portfolio.

Hardware Adapted Theory (HAT)

The Hardware Adapted Theory (HAT) consortium will help to make best use of the planned hardware generations within the MQV. It will also contribute to the hardware development itself by providing numerical modeling of hardware components and by developing tools to characterize the hardware and its errors. The consortium will develop hardware-adapted quantum control strategies and quantum error-correction protocols to optimize the fidelity and robustness of experimental quantum operations in the presence of noise and experimental imperfections and constraints. These approaches need to be scalable to medium-sized qubit registers. The HAT consortium thus provides theory support and strategies to maximize the performance of the hardware platforms developed within the MQV.

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