Dare we say it? Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has teamed up with IonQ to come up with a method for producing barium ions for quantum computing that could lead to … yes, that’s right, a quantum leap.
The public-private partnership could open up a new avenue for developing more resilient, more powerful hardware for trapped-ion quantum computers. The key technology involves using barium ions as the foundation for qubits, the quantum equivalent of binary bits in classical computing.
“IonQ’s work with PNNL to secure the domestic supply chain of IonQ’s quantum computing qubits is a fundamental step in the mass commercialization of quantum computing,” IonQ’s president and CEO, Peter Chapman, said today in a news release. “Qubits are at the core of our quantum computers, and this collaboration with PNNL lays the foundation for us to scale manufacturing of our systems.”
The partners say PNNL’s production process will provide a steady supply of barium-based qubits, using a microscopic smidgen of source material. That should make it possible for IonQ to reduce the size of core system components, which should in turn make it easier to network quantum computers.