Quantum computers offer the prospect of outperforming conventional computers in complex optimization algorithms. In his talk, Dr. Thomas Wellens provided insights into the joint project “QORA”, coordinated by Fraunhofer IAF, in which such algorithms are being developed in particular for portfolio optimization and tested on the IBM quantum computer in Ehningen. The practical potential of the processing power of quantum computers was highlighted, which is expected to soon find application not only in the financial sector, but also in logistics and other areas. However, the hardware of quantum computers is inherently error-prone and therefore requires optimized algorithms to enable reliable calculations. Thus, for practical applications to emerge, the used algorithms must first become more resilient.
There are many established approaches to building quantum computers—all with their own advantages and disadvantages. Meanwhile, a new, still young approach is emerging: qubits based on artificial diamond. In an expert session, our Technology Analyst & Consultant Ingolf Wittmann gave an overview of Fraunhofer IAF’s research on so-called diamond color centers, or nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centers in diamond. A major advantage of NV centers in diamond over other qubit technologies is their potential to operate even at room temperature. In the project “QC4BW”, led by Fraunhofer IAF, this advantage will be harnessed for quantum computing. The goal is to develop more compact quantum processors that could find application in hybrid computer systems in the near future.