Each year, the IEEE Micro journal selects a dozen papers from major computer architecture conferences that represent the “best of the best” in the field. These papers are “recognized for their importance, mainly the long-term impact and influence on the industry and other researchers,” writes the journal in their May/June issue.
This year, both of the Top Picks selections on quantum computing came from the Enabling Practical-Scale Quantum Computing (EPiQC) collaboration led by UChicago CS Professor Fred Chong. The papers by EPiQC-affiliated authors from UChicago CS, Princeton, and Duke explored the use of three-level qutrits for quantum computing and evaluated the architectural design of today’s quantum computers.
“Extending the Frontier of Quantum Computers With Qutrits,” authored by UChicago CS PhD students Pranav Gokhale, Jonathan Baker, and Casey Duckering with Chong, Natalie Brown of Georgia Tech, and Kenneth Brown of Duke, examined whether a “qutrit” — a quantum unit that can occupy three states instead of the more commonly-used qubit’s two states — could improve the performance of quantum computers.
“By tailoring algorithms to take advantage of the unique capabilities of quantum hardware, we realize efficiency gains that are otherwise hidden behind the abstraction barriers between hardware and software,” notes Fred Chong, Seymour Goodman Professor of Computer Science at UChicago and lead PI for EPiQC. “In this case, our hardware modeling led us to revisit and challenge the conventional wisdom that binary operation is best for computation.”
An earlier stage of the project won Best Poster at the 2019 Quantum Information Processing (QIP) meeting, and IEEE Micro also commended the paper for providing “good background materials for quantum computing.”
The second EPiQC-related Top Pick, “Architecting Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum Computers: A Real-System Study,” comes from the Princeton University research group of collaborator Margaret Martonosi. In this paper, the Princeton/IBM/University of Maryland team of Prakash Murali, Norbert Linke, Martonosi, Ali Javadi Abhari, Nhung Hong Nguyen, and Cinthia Huerta Alderete performed the largest real-system evaluation of quantum computers to date, on seven different machines.
The honors mark the second consecutive year that IEEE Micro Top Picks featured UChicago CS research. Last year, members of Hank Hoffmann's group received a Top Picks Honorable Mention for their CALOREE resource manager.