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NC State is the First U.S. University to Join the IBM Q Network

Image by Laborant| Shutterstock

Image by Laborant| Shutterstock

IBM chose North Carolina State University to be the first university-based IBM Q hub in North America and the fourth worldwide.

IBM tops Morgan Stanley’s list of companies poised to fulfill quantum supremacy and be a leader in the tech revolution after that milestone is reached.

However, developing quantum infrastructure and quantum devices is a tall order for any institution to carry alone.

Within its “quantum” network, IBM seeks to build commercial quantum computing systems and explore their practical applications in industry and research.

Since IBM introduced its quantum flagship in 2016, IBM Q, it has been building a global network around it that includes partners and collaborators including Fortune 500 companies, major banks, universities, top startups, and research labs.

NC State University to Host the U.S. First IBM’s Q Hub

As a research service, IBM Q Network provides early access to IBM Q. The system currently runs on a 20-qubit chip, although this is expected to grow exponentially with its next generation to around 50 qubits.

Once IBM Q, or other competitor’s chip for that matter, reaches 50 qubits, it would open the doors to quantum supremacy.

Aside from making its 20-qubit processor available for members of the IBM Q Network, the company has been working to set university-based hubs for its 20-qubit Q in select universities.

Last Thursday, IBM announced that North Carolina State University has joined its network as the first university-based IBM Q Hub in North America.

Vice President of IBM Q Strategy and Ecosystem, Bob Sutor, said of IBM and NC State partnership:

“Academic collaborations are essential to growing the quantum computing community as we look to discover practical quantum applications and drive business and scientific breakthroughs. Building on a 30-year research and education partnership, NC State will play a key role in helping IBM continue to extend our quantum computing ecosystem.”

For NC State, hosting IBM’s most advanced quantum processor (at NC State’s Centennial Campus) will allow its researchers and students to prepare for as well as contribute to the quantum revolution.

The new university-based IBM Q Hub in NC State University will be the first in the United States and the fourth in the world.

IBM has already established three university-based hubs for its IBM Q in Keio University (Japan), the University of Oxford (UK), and the University of Melbourne (Australia).

Other than these four IBM Q Hubs, IBM operates two hubs in its own facilities, the IBM Research and the Oak Ridge National Lab.

Does the IBM Q Network and Hubs give IBM the edge over its competitors in the quantum race?

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Zayan Guedim

Trilingual poet, investigative journalist, and novelist. Zed loves tackling the big existential questions and all-things quantum.

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