Quantum: Building the foundations of tomorrow’s computing

It now looks like an operable quantum computer should be feasible within around a decade. CEA-List is rolling out an ambitious research program to create the architecture and software stacks needed to program and use quantum computers, identify the main use cases where quantum can add value and develop the necessary algorithms, and understand how to evaluate quantum computing techniques.

The quantum computer is currently believed to be the most viable alternative to today’s Von Neumann machines and their limitations for certain uses. Until now, quantum research has focused mainly on algorithms.

Recent advances in the implementation of qubits have brought operable quantum processors within reach. Today the challenge is how to program and control them. The first step will be to design the hardware and software layers that will allow algorithms to be implemented on these quantum components.

CEA-List will help lay the groundwork for the emerging field of quantum software science through research on computational models, programming languages, microarchitectures, compilation, error mitigation algorithms, analysis tools, and software engineering, for example. All aspects of quantum software will be addressed.

Research area 1

Quantum architecture and software stacks

Quantum computing research has focused mainly on algorithms and qubits until very recently. Now the challenge is to connect the two. The first research area addressed by CEA-List’s quantum computing program is quantum architecture and software, with topics including:

  • Quantum-specific high-level programming languages and analysis tools for the rapid development of high-quality programs.
  • Compilation techniques to optimize the quantum programs generated as much as possible so that they can be deployed on tomorrow’s highly-constrained quantum hardware.
  • Interfaces (architecture, microarchitecture) between the programming flow and hardware.

Learn more about our development environments

Research area 2

Algorithms and computing architectures

Quantum computers represent a completely new paradigm—one that will require completely new approaches to algorithms. The second component of our quantum computing research program addresses this issue.

Our research objectives are to:

  • Explore algorithm design and development methods for hybrid (quantum and classical) computer architectures.
  • Identify combinatorial optimization and machine learning use cases where quantum can provide an advantage.
  • Develop algorithms for the use cases identified.

Learn more about our research on algorithms

Vidéo Parole d’expert : les architectures quantiques Christian Gamrat, expert architectures quantiques

A unique position

When it comes to quantum computing research, the lion’s share of efforts has gone to algorithms and programmable qubit implementation. CEA-List has carved out a unique position, leveraging expertise in classical computing and, specifically, research on HPC, architectures, programming languages and environments, software engineering, and formal code verification.

See also