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IonQ, Pacific Northwest Lab Generate Barium Qubit Source for Ion-Powered Quantum Computers

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A joint IonQ and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory team has produced a source of barium ions that the Maryland-based company believes could help in the commercialization of quantum computing technologies.

IonQ said Thursday the domestic source generates enough sustainable amounts of barium qubits, core components powering its quantum computers, to support an increase in its systems manufacturing operations perpetually.

According to the company, the public-private partnership also managed to shrink a barium material to a microscopic scale that could open the possibilities for smaller core system components and, in turn, quantum computers small enough to network with each other.

“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,” noted Peter Chapman, president and CEO of IonQ.

The partnership is part of various efforts to expand the company’s manufacturing work within the Pacific Northwest region. IonQ computers are designed to use trapped atoms, unlike the traditional synthetic quantum systems, to compute for complex math equations.