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AWS Opens Doors to Quantum Computing Facility on Caltech

A brand-new research center dedicated to quantum computing has opened on the Caltech campus in Pasadena, Calif., the culmination of a two-year project between the university and Amazon Web Services (AWS).

AWS and Caltech first announced the planned 21,000-square-foot, two-story center in December 2019; groundbreaking started just last August. Now open, the AWS Center for Quantum Computing will be the home base of AWS' efforts to create a "fault-tolerant quantum computer," according to a blog post Tuesday by Nadia Carlsten, head of product at the new facility.

The center will house offices for AWS' quantum research teams, laboratories and the specialized equipment that's needed to develop and test quantum devices.

"Our new facility includes everything we need to push the boundaries of quantum R&D, from making, testing, and operating quantum processors, to innovating the processes for controlling quantum computers and scaling the technologies needed to support bigger quantum devices, like cryogenic cooling systems and wiring," Carlsten said.

The location of the building -- on the campus of storied research university Caltech -- was strategic. Caltech is known for its rigorous science, physics and engineering programs; pioneering quantum physicist Richard Feynman famously lectured there.

The center's location in Caltech gives AWS access to "students and faculty from leading research groups in physics and engineering just a few buildings away," Carlsten noted. Indeed, AWS named two Caltech professors, Oskar Painter and Fernando Brandao, to serve as the center's technical leads.

"Through scholarships, internships, and seminars, the center will also support Caltech students and early career scientists," Caltech's announcement said.

"Students will have the opportunity to interact with cutting-edge research by way of the center being located at Caltech. This will be pretty amazing for students," Painter said in a statement. "And AWS can tap into that talent. Those are the future engineers and scientists who are going to build quantum computers."

About the Author

Gladys Rama (@GladysRama3) is the editor of Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com and AWSInsider.net, and the editorial director of Converge360.

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