The U.S. Air Force has requested white papers that describe new ways quantum computing could help achieve its mission.
Eventually, the U.S. federal government could provide a testbed in which contractors could install, develop, and test a quantum computing system.
The Air Force Research Laboratory's Information Directorate, which focuses on processes such as signal processing, networking technology, cyber research, and supercomputing, is collecting the white papers.
The solicitation notes many problems that traditional computers struggle with can be re-framed as "optimization problems," as one of quantum computing's potential benefits is its ability to quickly find the optimum solution to a multidimensional problem, given certain constraints. A quantum system also could address problems in the fields of machine learning, pattern recognition, and logistics, the agency says.
Ultimately, the Air Force wants to find out how to most effectively use quantum computing power when attacking a specific question.
The Air Force is one of several federal agencies interested in quantum computing technology. For example, last year the U.S. Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity said it planned to award a multiyear grant to IBM to build out a component of a quantum computer.
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Abstracts Copyright © 2016 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA
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