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article imageIBM and North Carolina state are investing in quantum computing

By Tim Sandle     Feb 27, 2019 in Technology
Raleigh - A new kind curriculum is coming out the IBM Q Hub at North Carolina State, which is the first university-based Q Hub in North America. The aim is to help to develop a new generation of workers for next-generation computing.
The U.S. is a frontrunner in the global race to build the first ‘true’ quantum. For this task, IBM, which is one of the main technology companies in the race, is investing money in staff employed at Raleigh, North Carolina to help lead the way.
The Raleigh site is one of five IBM Q Hub’s worldwide, forming part of IBM Q Network. The network is a collaboration between IBM and top Fortune 500 companies, national research labs and leading universities, established to advance quantum computing.
Such moves are encouraged by the U.S. government. In December 2018 a bill was passed to inject $1.2 billion into the quantum technology race. See Digital Journal’s article “U.S. is planning for a quantum computing workforce.”
One example of how such support is being used is at the NC State’s Q Hub. One reason for the government concern is because many in the security community regard quantum computing as an 'emerging threat' together with certain forms of artificial intelligence.
At the Hub, students work alongside scientists, researchers and engineers to advance future state computers. From autumn 2018, the university gained access to IBM Q commercial quantum computing devices. This included the most advanced and scalable universal systems available. The current 20 qubit IBM Q system is set to be followed by a next generation 50 qubit prototype. These computing technologies are anticipated for later in 2019.
Quantum computing has the potential to solve significant and complex challenges, including molecular modeling, machine learning, physics, materials science, chemical simulations and data discovery.
IBM is working directly with North Carolina state to develop quantum talent. In partnership with IBM, state officials are establishing a multidisciplinary quantum computing curricula to help to build a pipeline of qualified workers for the industry. This will help to address an anticipated talent shortage in relation to the new generation of computers.
Also falling within the same technological-investment footprint is Duke University. The education institution is leading a $15 million collaborative research project to build practical quantum computers. The project is dubbed “Software-Tailored Architecture for Quantum co-design (STAQ)”. The aim is to develop the first concrete quantum hardware system. For this, funds have been awarded by the U.S. National Science Foundation.
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