Skip to Main Content
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Computer Science and Telecommunications Board
Computer Science and Telecommunications Board
Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences
Current Projects
Completed Projects
Publications by Year
Publications by Topic
News & Events
Cyber Forum
CSTB's Mission
CSTB's Impact
Board Membership

Contact Us
500 Fifth Street NW
Washington, DC
Phone: (202) 334-2605
Fax: (202) 334-2318

Follow CSTB on
Facebook and Twitter


CSTB is a part of the
Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences.

Sign up for the DEPS newsletter.



Technical Assessment of the Feasibility and Implications of Quantum Computing

This project is sponsored by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. It is being carried out on an entirely unclassified basis by the Academies’ Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB) in coordination with the Intelligence Community Studies Board (ICSB).


Statement of Task
A study will provide an independent assessment of the feasibility and implications of creating a functional quantum computer capable of addressing real-world problems including but not limited to deployment of Shor’s algorithm.  The study will examine hardware and software requirements, quantum algorithms, drivers of advances in quantum computing and quantum devices, benchmarks associated with relevant use cases, the time and resources required, and how to assess the probability of success.  The committee will consider:
   (1) What are the technical risks associated with developing a quantum computer, and what are realistic timelines to achieve a functionally useful machine?  Who are the primary players capable of producing and using a quantum computer?
   (2) What are the implications of having a quantum computer, for example on signals intelligence, communications, banking, and commerce?
   (3) What is the future of public key cryptography? What are the prospects and timescales for developing and deploying quantum-resistant encryption?
   (4) What are the costs and benefits from a national security perspective of quantum computing, under various assumptions of time, cost, non-US development, alternative technologies, etc.?

In its report, the committee will provide an assessment of prospects and implications but make no recommendations.
Project Information

Committee Membership

Contact Emily Grumbling, CSTB program officer and study director, at