About a year ago, the Defense Advanced Project Research Agency announced a new program called Underexplored Systems for Utility-Scale Quantum Computing (US2QC). Its purpose is to provide some funding for underexplored and revolutionary approaches to quantum computing that might achieve progress faster than some of the more conventional QC approaches being taken. (In other words, superconducting and ion trap developers need not apply!). As we reported in January, DARPA selected three manufacturers to participate in Phase 1 of this program including PsiQuantum (photonic based), Microsoft (topological qubit based), and Atom Computing (neutral atom based). In this phase, each participant worked to develop and  present a design concept describing their plans to create a utility-scale fault-tolerant quantum computer.

In Phase 2, the goal for PsiQuantum and Microsoft will be to build and demonstrate a system design for a fault-tolerant prototype. This will be a smaller scale system that will contain all the design concepts and operate as intended. It will include identifying all the required components and sub-systems and associated specifications needed to meet the performance goals. Phase 2 will last until March 2025 and at completion the government experts will evaluate the results for design viability.

DARPA has issued a news release announcing the Phase 2 US2QC participant selections and you can find it here. Microsoft has also published a blog about their selection for Phase 2 and it can be found here.

December 20, 2023