Inside Quantum Technology

UPDATE: IonQ plans to open massive new plant near Seattle in 2024

This story has been updated with responses from IonQ about the timing of the pant’s opening and other details.

IonQ announced the planned 2024 opening of a new 65,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Bothell, Washington, that will house Maryland company’s growing R&D and manufacturing teams, as they develop systems to meet continued customer demand.

An IonQ spokeswoman told IQT News that the company “is taking over the first two floors of the office space located at 3755 Monte Villa, a former AT&T data center that allows IonQ to reuse much of the building’s existing infrastructure. While IonQ expects to remodel the facility to meet our tailored needs, we cannot share any estimated costs associated with the build-out at this time. However, we anticipate the facility to open during the first half of 2024.”

The new facility is located near offices for some of the biggest names Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Panasonic, and Seattle Genetics, as well as academic institutions like the University of Washington. With this move, IonQ wades into a very deep tech talent pool, one that may have even more fish than usual waiting to be caught following the recent news from Microsoft and Amazon that they are laying off thousands of employees. The company indicated that it does plan to add “thousands of new jobs and opportunities to the region over the coming years.”

IonQ also mentioned it will continue to invest in the Pacific Northwest region. When asked for details, the spokeswoman responded, “We are committed to growing quantum capabilities in the PNW region, and recognize the wealth of talent and resources available. While we can’t comment on the specifics of our larger investment goals, we can say confidently that IonQ will be here for the long-run.”

It is also important to note that Peter Chapman, CEO and President of IonQ, which is based in College Park, Maryland, is a former Amazon executive, and already works for IonQ from the Seattle area, which makes one wonder if the new location could become the company’s new headquarters. However, the spokeswoman dismissed that possibility, saying, “IonQ’s headquarters will remain in College Park, Maryland. While Peter is based out of Seattle, he has – and will continue – to split his time between the two IonQ locations.”

Meanwhile, Chapman said in a statement, “The Seattle region has been a hub of tech innovation and manufacturing for decades, and has the skilled workforce we need to design, build and manufacture our quantum computers. As we planned our expansion, the Seattle area was the best option for our new facility. We’re excited to be among the other innovative companies who call Seattle home, many of which are IonQ partners and customers.” 

Former PsiQuantum senior leader Dr. Dave Mehuys, who has been with IonQ for about one year, according to his LinkedIn profile, and has many years of experience managing systems hardware engineering, manufacturing and related operations, will oversee the build out of the new facility as IonQ’s Vice President of Product Engineering. 

Just last week, IonQ announced a move into Canada with the acquisition of Toronto-based Entangled Networks. In a notable previous announcement related to the Pacific Northwest, IonQ and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) announced last year that their public-private partnership had yielded a sustainable and robust supply of barium qubits for IonQ’s next generation of barium-based quantum computers. 

Dan O’Shea has covered telecommunications and related topics including semiconductors, sensors, retail systems, digital payments and quantum computing/technology for over 25 years.

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