by Harry Clapsis, Government Affairs Associate
Today, the House of Representatives unanimously passed the National Quantum Initiative Act, legislation that would create a 10-year federal program to bring a whole-of-government approach to advancing quantum information science research and development. Continued government support of quantum computing is integral to ensuring the United States remains a world leader in this promising technology. While the Senate still has to act on the bill, SIA is encouraged that Congress is continuing to place a high emphasis on ensuring U.S. leadership in quantum technology.
The bill would authorize up to $1.275 billion dollars in spending to fund crucial R&D programs at the Energy Department and the National Science Foundation. It reflects Congress’ continuing support for increased quantum computing R&D, as the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act called for the Department of Defense to create a quantum computing R&D program.
Quantum computing is a new model of computing that would exponentially increase the computing power of even the fastest supercomputer on the market today. At the current stage of chip development, it has been very difficult to pack more than a few dozen qubits (a unit for measuring information in a quantum computer) onto a chip. A common obstacle to greater implementation of quantum computing is that for a fully functioning quantum computer, chips will need to have millions of qubits on them. However, this past year, researchers at the University of New South Wales released a new chip design that could bridge the gap in the technology. While this chip is still in the early stages of development, it shows the great potential that continued federal investment in quantum computing R&D can have.
SIA looks forward to continuing to work with Congress and the administration to support federal investments in research that will advance semiconductor technology and spur U.S. economic growth and innovation.
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