The potential of quantum computing is virtually unlimited, in part because it’s based on physics theories that were science fiction just a few years ago. Maryland-based IonQ plans to turn fiction into fact with a new 65,000-square-foot research and manufacturing facility in Bothell, Washington. The Bothell facility will be the first dedicated quantum computer manufacturing facility in the U.S.
Using subatomic particles instead of streams of binary ones and zeros used by computers today, quantum computers will be able to solve complex problems in moments rather than days, weeks or even years.
While quantum computing has near-term uses in medicine, research and analytics, it will also be able to help address seemingly unsolvable problems related to transportation, manufacturing, climate change and energy.
“The Seattle region has been a hub of tech innovation and manufacturing for decades and has the skilled workforce we need to design, build and manufacture our quantum computers,” noted Peter Chapman, IonQ’s CEO and president. “The Seattle region has been a hub of tech innovation and manufacturing for decades. We’re excited to be among the other innovative companies who call Seattle home.”
The new facility is part of the company’s long-term plan to invest $1 billion in the Pacific Northwest over the next decade. The Monte Villa Parkway facility will house the company’s second quantum data center and serve as North America’s primary production engineering location. If all goes according to plan, IonQ hopes to bring thousands of jobs to the Pacific Northwest region in the next 10 years.
This new facility comes at an ideal time since researchers are still deciding how to structure the building blocks needed to create a quantum computing framework. Some of these building blocks are based on, as of yet, unproven theories in physics.
IonQ was founded in 2015, spinning out of the University of Maryland. The 200-person company went public in October 2021. The new Bothell facility will open in the first half of 2024.
The company is partnering with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland and has development contracts with Airbus, GE, Hyundai and the U.S. Air Force.
Read all about it in Geekwire.