The IBM Q Hub at NC State is structured as a hub and spoke model of engagement, and members can be from industry, academia or government. Each entity, including NC State, has their own dedicated access slot with equal priority cloud-based remote access with the goal of exploring practical applications important to business and science.
Other announced IBM Q University Hubs include Keio University in Japan, University of Melbourne in Australia, Oxford University in the UK, Bundeswehr University in Germany, National Taiwan University and University of Minho in Portugal. Over time it is envisioned that these and future hubs will share tools, lessons learned and best practices to facilitate the rapidly emerging field of quantum information science.
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The IBM Q Hub at NC State commenced formal operations October 1, 2018, providing supported remote access to commercial IBM Q computation resources via IBM Cloud attached to conventional laptops, desktops and servers. As Hub lead, NC State, in cooperation with IBM, will provide quantum access slots consisting of 1/4 of a queue slot for each approved Q Hub industrial member.
Presently, each member has access to IBM’s 53 qubit processor as well as several 20 qubit machines. Access through the Hub also allows pulse-level control of qubit operations through the OpenPulse API. Pulse-level control is critical to enhancing the performance of the present generation of noisy, intermediate-scale quantum (NISQ) computers, and this capability is only available through an IBM Q Hub.
Support for Hub members includes on-board training as well as ongoing technical assistance in support of research, education, application and business solutions. The IBM Q Hub at NC State is a university-level cross-disciplinary center housed in Venture Place on Centennial Campus. While early usage will be targeted towards software tools development, ease of use and education, these resources are expected to be key to other R&D areas of quantum science, such as communications and sensors.