The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has issued a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) calling for proposals for research in the area of quantum benchmarking. Proposed research should quantify the long-term utility of quantum computers. In particular, proposed research should center around either (1) the creation of application-specific, hardware-agnostic benchmarks for quantum computer utility or (2) hardware resource estimation for quantum computers. Specifically excluded is research that primarily results in evolutionary improvements to the existing state of practice.

The program is divided into two technical areas as follows:

TA1: Hardware-agnostic benchmark creation. TA1 will comprise interdisciplinary performer teams that combine application-domain experts with hardware-agnostic quantum computing experts. TA1 teams will lead the benchmark creation process and quantify computational utility as a function of benchmark performance. Funding guidance for this technical area has not yet been provided.

TA2: Hardware-specific resource estimation. TA2 will comprise teams focusing on one or more hardware-specific quantum computing paradigms. Each team will determine the hardware paradigm-specific resources – both classical and quantum – required to achieve a given benchmark performance level. Funding guidance for this technical areas is a total of $2.95 million split into two 18 month phases.

DARPA will hold a Proposer’s Day on April 20, 2021 with an abstract due from potential proposers on May 11, 2021 and final proposals due on June 22, 2021. For more information about this funding opportunity, you can view a news release on the DARPA website here, a notice on the U.S. government’s SAM website here, and the full text of the Broad Agency Announcement with additional details here.

April 3, 2021