Although development activities for programmable neutral atom quantum computers started later than developments in superconducting and ion trap quantum computers, some people see a lot of future potential in this technology due to its long coherence times, identical qubit characteristics, and potential for rapid scaling. But there previously didn’t seem to have been any technical papers published describing someone actually running a quantum algorithm on one of these processors. But now, a team consisting of researchers from ColdQuanta, Riverlane, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison has been able to implement three different algorithms including preparation of entangled Greenberger-Horne-Zeilinger (GHZ) states, quantum phase estimation, and the Quantum Approximate Optimization Algorithm (QAOA) on a six-qubit processor named AQuA located at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Although a six-qubit processor could not come close to outperforming a classical computer on this level of problems, the techniques developed can form the basis for much larger and more powerful quantum computers in the future that would be able to outperform classical computers and provide a quantum advantage. Indeed, ColdQuanta is preparing a much larger 100 qubit machine that they will offer for cloud access later this year and it will use learnings from the AQuA testbed. Addtional information about this demonstration of algorithms running on a neutral atom process can be found in a press release located here, a preprint paper posted on arXiv here, and a journal article published in Nature here.
April 20, 2022