Industrial PCs

University to collaborate on developing software stacks for quantum computers

The Georgia Institute of Technology announced its agreement to join the IBM Q Hub at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to help advance quantum computing research.
By John Toon January 14, 2020
Georgia Tech has announced an agreement to join the IBM Q Hub at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory to advance the fundamental research and use of quantum computing. Courtesy: IBM/Georgia Tech

The Georgia Institute of Technology announced its agreement to join the IBM Q Hub at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to help advance the fundamental research and use of quantum computing in building software infrastructure and developing specialized error mitigation techniques. Georgia Tech will have cloud access, via the Oak Ridge Hub, to the world’s largest fleet of universal quantum computing systems for commercial use case exploration and fundamental research.

“Access to IBM machines will allow Georgia Tech to build software infrastructure to make it easier to operate quantum machines, create specialized error mitigation techniques in software – thereby mitigating some of the hardware errors – and develop algorithms and applications for the emerging noisy intermediate-scale quantum (NISQ) computing paradigm,” said Moinuddin Qureshi, a professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, in a press release. “Access will also allow Georgia Tech researchers to better understand the error patterns in existing quantum computers, which can help with developing the architecture for future machines.”

As part of the ORNL hub, Georgia Tech will join a community of companies, startups, academic institutions and research labs working to advance quantum computing and explore practical applications. Georgia Tech will leverage IBM’s quantum expertise and resources, Qiskit software and developer tools, and will have cloud-based access to IBM’s Quantum Computation Center. IBM makes available through the cloud 15 of the most-advanced universal quantum computing systems available, including a 53-qubit system – the most qubits of a universal quantum computer commercially available in the industry.

Research is being conducted worldwide to develop a new type of computational device known as a quantum computer, based on the principles of quantum physics. Quantum computers could tackle specialized computational problems such as integer factorization, understanding materials properties or optimization challenges much faster than conventional digital computers. Quantum computers will use one of a number of possible approaches to create quantum bits – units known as qubits – to compute and store data, giving them unique advantages over computers based on silicon transistors.

The agreement will give Georgia Tech access to IBM’s premium systems, including the 53-qubit quantum computer. “In the regime between 50 and 60 qubits is where quantum machines can potentially do computations that are beyond the capabilities of existing conventional computers,” Qureshi said.

– Edited by Chris Vavra, associate editor, Control Engineering, CFE Media and Technology, cvavra@cfemedia.com.


John Toon
Author Bio: Georgia Tech University