IBM Quantum System One to Propel Research and Innovation at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

By Greg Tavarez, TMCnet Editor  |  July 06, 2023

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, founded in 1824, is a research-intensive institution with a focus on cutting-edge research and technological advancements. RPI has numerous research centers and facilities that conduct interdisciplinary research in areas such as biotechnology, nanotechnology, energy, sustainability, advanced materials, data science, AI, robotics and more.

RPI researchers often collaborate with industry partners, government agencies and other academic institutions to address complex global challenges and make significant contributions to scientific knowledge.

RPI’s newest partnership builds on its vision to enhance the educational experiences and research capabilities of students and researchers at RPI and other institutions. RPI will house an IBM Quantum System One, intended to be operational by January of 2024, to serve as the foundation of a new IBM (News - Alert) Quantum Computational Center. Through this partnership, the Capital Region will propel into a top location for talent and New York's growth as a technology epicenter will accelerate.

Quantum (News - Alert) computers leverage the principles of quantum mechanics to manipulate information and have the potential to tackle highly intricate problems beyond the reach of classical supercomputers. These advancements hold promise for computational science research, AI and materials exploration.

The IBM Quantum System One is a highly advanced quantum computing system. It features a 127-qubit processor known as Quantum Eagle and is designed to perform utility-scale calculations, surpassing the capabilities of classical computing methods. The system's architecture ensures stability, coherence and precision through specialized cooling mechanisms and isolation techniques.

With an intuitive UI and software stack, researchers and developers can effectively interact with the quantum processor, exploring its potential in fields like optimization, cryptography and materials science. The IBM Quantum System One represents an advancement in quantum computing, offering powerful capabilities for scientific research and problem-solving.

RPI is home to the Artificial Intelligence Multiprocessing Optimized System. AiMOS, at a top peak processing speed of 11.03 petaFLOPS, is a powerful private university-based supercomputer. The IBM POWER9 CPU and NVIDIA (News - Alert) GPU-equipped supercomputer enables users to explore new AI applications.

“RPI is building upon our longstanding collaboration with IBM to harness state-of-the-art computing to find solutions to global challenges, while training the next-gen workforce in quantum," said Marty A. Schmidt, class of 1981, president of RPI.

RPI's advance into research of applications for quantum computing will represent a more than $150 million investment once fully realized, aided by philanthropic support from Curtis R. Priem, class of 1982, vice chair of RPI's board of trustees. The new quantum computer will be part of RPI's new Curtis Priem Quantum Constellation, a faculty endowed center for collaborative research, which will prioritize the hiring of additional faculty leaders who will leverage the quantum computing system.

"This investment will keep RPI at the forefront of technology and innovation, as well as lead the country in leveraging this powerful technology for the good of our nation," said Priem.

The agreement between RPI and IBM also includes a commitment to upgrade the system installed at RPI by 2026.

Edited by Alex Passett
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