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IBM will roll out its first quantum computer, the IBM Quantum System One, to a university.

BM Quantum System One quantum computer

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will be the first university to house an IBM Quantum System One quantum computer.

IBM has announced that Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will house an IBM Quantum System One, making it the first university to do so. The IBM quantum computer is expected to be operational by January of 2024 and will be the foundation of a new IBM Quantum Computational Center in partnership with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). By partnering, RPI aims to enhance the educational experiences and research capabilities of students and researchers at RPI and other institutions and accelerate the growth of New York as a technology hub.

RPI’s research into applications for quantum computing will represent a more than $150 million investment once fully realized, with support from Curtis R. Priem ’82, vice chair of RPI’s Board of Trustees. The new quantum computer will be part of RPI’s Curtis Priem Quantum Constellation, a faculty-endowed center for collaborative research that will prioritize the hiring of additional faculty leaders who will leverage the quantum computing system.

Marty A. Schmidt ’81, Ph.D., President of RPI, said:

“We are grateful for Curtis Priem’s support. 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. Our new quantum computational center will benefit the Capital Region and the State of New York by dramatically enhancing our area’s research capabilities. We look forward to working with our partners in the region to transform the Hudson River Valley into ‘Quantum Valley.’”

Priem co-founded NVIDIA Corp. in 1993. Since then, NVIDIA has been a pioneer in accelerated computing. According to Priem, “Our invention of the GPU in 1999 sparked the growth of the PC gaming market, redefined computer graphics, ignited the era of modern AI, and is fueling the creation of the metaverse. NVIDIA is now a full-stack computing company with data-center-scale offerings that are reshaping industry.” Priem has supported RPI in the past with an historic $40 million unrestricted gift, which led to the naming of the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC).

Quantum computers use the laws of quantum mechanics to process information and may solve problems that are too complex for classical supercomputers, such as advancements in computational science research, artificial intelligence, and materials. The IBM Quantum System One, which will be deployed at RPI, will be powered by the 127-qubit IBM Quantum Eagle processor. IBM recently demonstrated that the processor can perform utility-scale calculations. IBM defines utility-scale as the point at which quantum computers could serve as scientific tools to explore a new scale of problems that remain intractable for classical methods. The agreement with IBM includes a commitment to provide an upgrade to the system installed at RPI in 2026.

Darío Gil, Senior Vice President and Director of IBM Research, said,

“Today’s quantum computers are novel, scientific tools that can be used to model problems that are extremely difficult, and perhaps impossible, for classical systems, signaling that we are now entering a new phase of utility for quantum computing. We expect this collaboration to continue to have tremendous impact for the area’s growth as a corridor of innovation, from New York City to the Capital Region. We are thrilled to collaborate with RPI as we continue to nurture the global quantum ecosystem of tomorrow.”

RPI has a long history of advanced technology and is currently home to one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world, the Artificial Intelligence Multiprocessing Optimized System (AiMOS). With a peak processing speed of 11.03 petaFLOPS, AiMOS is currently the most powerful private university-based supercomputer in the United States. The supercomputer, which is equipped with IBM POWER9 CPUs and NVIDIA GPUs, allows users to explore new AI applications.

About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute was founded in 1824, making it America’s first technological research university. It is composed of five schools, over 30 research centers, and more than 145 academic programs (including 25 new programs). The community is made up of over 6,800 students and 110,000 living alumni. Faculty and alumni include over 155 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With almost 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer focuses on addressing global challenges with ingenuity and collaboration. Visit to learn more.

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BM Quantum System One quantum computer via IBM with usage type - Editorial use (Fair Use)

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BM Quantum System One quantum computer via IBM with usage type - Editorial use (Fair Use)


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