Quantum Computing

University of Oxford Hosts NQCC Quantum Computing Scalability Conference

Quantum Computing Scalability Conference, held at Lady Margaret Hall — a historic college at the University of Oxford known for being the first to admit women — took place last week (30–31 March 2023) and is an opportunity for those interested in the sector to find out what it is a Quantum Computing Center National (NQCC), funded through Research and Innovation UK and sponsored by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), is up. It also enables those attending to broaden their knowledge of the quantum technology ecosystem within UK borders and discover the challenges quantum computing faces in hardware scalability and other areas.

The event was held over two days and the agenda was divided into four areas:

  • Photonics and Superconducting on Day One
  • Cold Atoms and Trapped Ions on Day Two

The conference started with a speech by Dr. Michael CuthbertThe NQCC director, who mentioned the importance of bringing new people into the field given its scale and the importance of bridging the skills gap, was joined by speakers from industry and academia, giving a short twenty minute presentation on their fields. expertise with a short question and answer session to end their time on the podium.

Some of those invited to speak include Chris Monroe of Duke University and co-founder of quantum company IonQ, Harry Zhou of QuEra Computing, Josh Nunn of ORCA Computing, and Niccolo Somaschi of Quandela.

Some of the key takeaways from this presentation are that photonics, trapped ions, superconductive circuits and cold atoms are all promising hardware platforms, although a clear winner in the race to build scalable quantum computers is still unknown. Also, quantum computing faces many challenges, including hardware scalability, but there are experts out there researching and engineering those challenges.

NQCC’s Cameron Deans, Vivek Chidambaram and Nicholas Spong also took to the stage to give audiences a better understanding of NQCC’s direction in terms of their respective research in Superconductors, Trapped Ions, and other fields.

In closing each day, a panel discussion was held. Day One is underway “Benchmarking on scalable devices” while Day Two was discussed “Support technology”.

In between presentations and panel discussions, participants had the opportunity to network during coffee and lunch breaks. On the evening of Day One, there was a conference dinner, another opportunity for people to chat and take notes in an intimate setting.

Overall, the event was a huge success and managed to highlight what NQCC is all about. In addition, it also paints a descriptive picture of what is happening in the UK as a whole, both in terms of government investment, private sector and calls attention to the roadblocks to success.

Image: Mandy Birch during her presentation “Building from the Computing Century: Creating a Framework for Scaling Quantum Computing” at the Quantum Computing Scalability Conference

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