Quality Engineering for Quantum Computing
The euphoria associated with quantum computers is great: since 2012, 674 million dollars in venture capital has flowed into companies involved in quantum computing. In the period up to 2022, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research will invest an additional 650 million euros in the technology. In the future, quantum computers will help make complex calculations possible in much less time than "classical" computers need. As a result, they are theoretically able to crack encryptions, comprehensively simulate the human brain, help optimize traffic forecasts, or accelerate the development of batteries or new materials in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries.
For such applications to become a reality, users of quantum computers need a logical abstraction layer that provides interfaces (APIs) to execute computing processes on quantum computers. In addition, specific algorithms are required for the calculations and systematic quality assurance for these algorithms and the associated processes (e.g. Quantum DevOps) must be put in place. The scientists at Fraunhofer FOKUS are therefore working on the development of special middleware for quantum computers and the adaptation of algorithms to the requirements of such quantum computers. The theme of "quantum computing as a service" - i.e., the provision of quantum-based services via a cloud - is also a focus of the researchers. In doing so, they are paying particular attention to the security, privacy, and data protection of such applications. In particular, the Smart City offers a range of application areas for quantum computing - from the mobility sector to the energy sector, cashless payment, and supply chains between city and country, to name just a few.
Furthermore, Fraunhofer FOKUS conducts research on the following topics and provides the following services for its customers:
- Development of a certification scheme for quantum algorithms and quantum software
- Standardization of essential APIs and processes, e.g., in cooperation with DIN and other committees
- Testing of quantum-based systems
- Verification of processes and algorithms for quantum computers
- Benchmarking of quantum computing instances
- Error Mitigation Procedure
- The scientists also offer training courses - e.g., via the Fraunhofer Academy - and lectures on quantum computing.