Amazon Joins Race for Quantum Computer with New Caltech Center
(WashingtonPost) Amazon is officially entering the race to develop a quantum computer, joining U.S. and Chinese rivals in the quest to harness the properties of nature’s tiniest particles into computing power far surpassing existing machines.
Amazon Web Services, the company’s cloud-computing division, already offers customers access to early-stage quantum computers developed by other companies, including IonQ. Now it’s trying to develop its own.
Amazon rented land from Caltech to build the research center, which the company owns and operates. Painter and another Caltech professor, Fernando Brandao, who also took a leave of absence to join Amazon, are running the research there.
Amazon will base its quantum team at a new center on the campus of Caltech in Pasadena, Calif., which officially opens this week. Caltech described it as the first “corporate-partnership building” on the university’s campus, showing “Caltech’s interests in bringing fundamental science to the marketplace.”
Google, IBM, Honeywell, Microsoft and start-ups such as IonQ are leading the U.S. race to build the machines, alongside a number of universities handling more basic research. In China, university research groups in Shanghai and Hefei are spearheading the work, backed by heavy government investment.