Department of Energy awarding Berkeley Lab $30 million to build quantum testbed

The U.S. Department of Energy is awarding Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) $30 million over five years to build and operate an Advanced Quantum Testbed (AQT). As part of this effort, Berkeley Lab will collaborate with MIT Lincoln Laboratory (MIT LL) to deploy different quantum processor architectures.

Researchers will use the testbed to explore superconducting quantum processors, and evaluate how these emerging quantum devices can be utilized to advance scientific research.

According to Irfan Siddiqi, Berkeley Lab scientist and AQT director, one of the goals of this project is to set up a multi-partner scientific collaboration to build a platform where basic outstanding questions about quantum computing can be answered. AQT will operate as an open resource for the community, allowing external researchers to evaluate superconducting architectures developed by testbed staff and collaborators for simulations in chemistry, materials, and other areas of computation.

In addition to the collaboration with MIT-LL, AQT is expected to tap resources and expertise of a number of DOE user facilities, including the Molecular Foundry and National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, both located at Berkeley Lab.

Additionally, researchers from Berkeley Lab’s Accelerator Technologies and Applied Physics Division will help develop custom quantum control hardware, while the Materials Sciences Division will help with research and materials fabrication and the Computational Research Division will help develop low-level software and custom classical computing architecture.

The Advanced Quantum Testbed will be funded by the Department of Energy’s Office of Science (ASCR).

[Image courtesy: Peter DaSilva, Berkeley Lab]

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