AWS’ quantum computing center is alive at Caltech

It’s been nearly two years since Amazon Web Services announced a quantum computing initiative that included the establishment of an AWS Center for Quantum Computing — and today AWS is opening the box, Schrödinger-style, to reveal that the center is alive and delving into quantum weirdness in a new building on Caltech’s campus in Pasadena, Calif.

Caltech says the two-story, 21,000-square-foot facility is the first corporate partnership building on its campus. “Day One” came in August, said Oskar Painter, a Caltech physics professor who’s leading the center.

“We’re in the building,” Painter, the AWS center’s head of quantum hardware, told GeekWire. “Our people have been working there, which has been great. Obviously, we would have been remote regardless, given the COVID [pandemic], but it’s been a really great time to come back and see each other, and celebrate this facility.”

The center will bring together AWS developers and academic researchers, not just from Caltech but from other institutions around the country, to solve problems standing in the way of a quantum computing revolution. Among the collaborators are researchers from the University of Washington, Stanford, MIT, Harvard and other computer science powerhouses.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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