RPI has the honors of housing an IBM Quantum System One

Image of graduation caps/Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has the honours of housing an IBM Quantum System One

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) has announced that it will become the first university in the world to house an IBM Quantum System One. 

The IBM quantum computer will serve as the foundation of a new IBM Quantum Computational Center and its purpose is to enhance the educational experiences and research capabilities of students at RPI, subsequently accelerating New York’s growth as a technology epicenter. 

Quantum computers harness the laws of quantum mechanics to process information and attempt to solve problems that are too complex for classical supercomputers, such as advancements in computational science research, artificial intelligence and materials. The agreement with IBM includes a commitment to provide an upgrade to the system installed at RPI in 2026.

This news comes after IBM’s recent breakthrough, where it demonstrated that quantum computers are able to produce accurate results at a scale of 100+ qubits reaching beyond leading classical approaches. Additionally, in the past March, IBM had installed the first deployment of an onsite private sector IBM-managed quantum computer in the US. 

RPI has invested $150m into its research of applications for quantum computing, which has been aided by support from Curtis R. Priem, a previous vice chair of RPI’s board of trustees. The new quantum computer will be part of RPI’s new Curtis Priem Quantum Constellation, a faculty-endowed center for collaborative research, which will prioritize the hiring of additional faculty leaders who will leverage the quantum computing system. Past support from Priem includes a $40m unrestricted gift that led to the naming of the Experiemental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC). 

“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,” said Darío Gil, senior vice president and director of IBM Research. “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.”