APS held its annual March meeting in Chicago this year from March 14-18, 2022. It was a hybrid meeting, both in-person and virtual, with strict Covid protocols to protect the roughly 12,000 attendees. The APS March Meeting is largest meeting worldwide of physics professionals held every year. The ones from 2020 and 2021 were held virtually due to Covid.

There was a total of 118 sessions organized by the Department of Quantum Information (DQI). In total there were 995 sessions over the five days from all the different branches. Each of the DQI sessions had anywhere between 5-15 presentations within session. So there was over 1,000 technical presentations covering all aspects of quantum information including quantum entanglement, quantum communication, quantum cryptography, quantum algorithms and simulations, physical implementations of qubits, quantum error correction, fault-tolerant quantum computation, quantum measurements, open quantum systems, quantum coherence, control of quantum dynamics, the quantum-classical correspondence, and the conceptual and mathematical foundations of quantum theory.

The meeting also had an exhibit hall with scores of exhibitors presenting their offerings used in physics experiments and quantum computing construction including products like dilution refrigerators, control electronics, cabling, lasers, and many other items. But the conference was not focused on end users of quantum technology so most of the quantum hardware and software providers for end users that we would see at other conferences did not exhibit here.

There was only one quantum related new product announcement made at the show that we were aware of and it was from Maybell Quantum, a new startup offering a dilution refrigerator. (See our writeup about their announcement here.)

We could only attend a fraction of the presentations, but most of the sessions have been recorded for anyone who wants to hear more details. Several companies including IBM, Xanadu, PsiQuantum, Rigetti, Quantinuum, Google and others had multiple presentations. So anyone who missed a sessions can view the recording and gain additional insights into their technologies.

Some of the presentations repeated things we have seen before, but there were a couple noteworthy things we saw that point the way to future product capabilities. IBM mentioned they were planning on making specific improvements in their Quantum Volume and CLOPS metrics. Currently their best machines show a Quantum Volume of 128 and a CLOPS measurement of 2.9K.  In a presentation, IBM indicated that later in 2022 achieve a Quantum Volume of 1024, and a CLOPS measurement of 10K. We were previously aware that they plan in improving the qubit count from 127 to 433, but this is the first detailed indication of how much they plan on improving the Quantum Volume and CLOPS measures this year too.

Another interesting development was a presentation from Intel indicating they are developing a full-stack Intel Quantum Software Development Kit (SDK) with an LLVM-based C++ compiler and system software workflow. Intel recently posted a paper on the arXiv describing it here. They showed progress with a 2 qubit gate and are processing linear arrays with up to 55 gates in their 300 mm wafer fab. Intel also described a cryocooled wafer prober that they developed with BlueFors and Afore that greatly accelerates the time it takes for them to get results from a new wafer run. As far as we know, no one else has this and it could help Intel significantly speed up their development times.

The conference was another indication that there continues to be considerable excitement and increased activity in quantum technology. One thing we noted was that the last slide of almost every presentation concluded with a careers pitch indicating the organization was hiring in their group and encouraging people to apply.

For those who weren’t able to attend or see the virtual presentations, you should still be able to register and see the videos for a little while.  Go to the APS March Meeting home page at https://march.aps.org/ for more information.

March 18, 2022