From the “Quantum Computing Developments” project, a concrete step towards the new technology that blends classical and quantum supercomputing.

The team involved in the research project “Quantum Computing Developments” – funded by IFAB and the result of collaboration with CINECA, INFN, and Leithà-Unipol – has successfully executed a hybrid classical-quantum optimization algorithm, using Fresnel, the first commercial neutral atom quantum machine, designed by the French company PASQAL.

The researchers, coordinated by Professor Elisa Ercolessi and led by PhD student Simone Tibaldi from the Department of Physics and Astronomy “Augusto Righi” at the University of Bologna, utilized the Quantum Approximate Optimization Algorithm (QAOA), an algorithm that synergizes quantum and classical resources to solve a typical complex combinatorial problem on a graph.

Hybrid algorithms are proving fundamental for tackling problems unsolvable by classical computers, especially in those situations where it involves finding the best option among many combinations. Among these, the most promising is the Quantum Approximate Optimization Algorithm, which is used to solve combinatorial optimization problems and has been tested on various experimental quantum platforms in recent years, such as arrays of neutral atoms, superconducting processors, and trapped ion simulators.

However, this is the first time the algorithm has been tested on an industrially reliable quantum device, with excellent results, as it was not necessary to perform many attempts, and the classical routine run on an HPC center collaborated with the quantum device in a flawless and automated manner.

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