/University of Arizona leads international partnership to boost development of the internet of the future

University of Arizona leads international partnership to boost development of the internet of the future

Key idea: The partnership, which also includes researchers in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, will focus on developing technology that will provide connectivity between quantum computers over short and long distances.

Original author and publication date: Daniel Stolte (University of Arizona, Communications) – August 3, 2022

Futurizonte Editor’s Note: Will the internet of the future change our future as the internet of the past already did?

From the article:   

The University of Arizona Center for Quantum Networks is leading a new international research and development partnership that will investigate technologies that will form the foundations of a quantum internet.

The partnership, with research centers in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, was made possible by a combined investment of $3 million from the National Science Foundation, Science Foundation Ireland and the Northern Ireland Department for the Economy.

Dubbed CoQREATE, which stands for Convergent Quantum Research Alliance in Telecommunications, the transatlantic partnership will focus on developing technology that will provide connectivity between quantum computers over short and long distances.

Quantum computers are being rapidly developed, with the first devices already commercially available. Unlike conventional computers, which use electrical charges inside semiconductors – commonly referred to as “zeros and ones” – quantum computers harness quantum mechanical effects known as quantum bits, or “qubits,” which make them orders of magnitude faster and more capable of certain enormously complex calculations.

“Because they compute using qubits, networking quantum computers will require fundamentally new communications infrastructure that is capable to transmitting packets of qubits reliably and fast over long distances, while relying on the classical internet for some of their functions,” said Saikat Guha, a professor in the UArizona James C. Wyant College of Optical Sciences and director of the Center for Quantum Networks, a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center based at the university.

Guha said the quantum internet will not replace the existing “classical” internet. Rather, the two will coexist and cooperate to allow for many new applications that are not possible today.

The quantum internet will need a robust classical communications backbone to function, thereby increasing the burden on the classical network, and some of the underlying technologies of the existing internet will need to be upgraded to be compatible with quantum communications.

“CoQREATE is an effort to figure out how these two technologies can work together,” Guha said.

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