February 7, 2023
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Google taps UCSB for quantum computing


Google has selected a UC Santa Barbara lab for a new quantum computing initiative just a short distance from where Microsoft has an outpost, setting up a battle among tech giants on the South Coast.

In a blog post Sept. 2, Google’s Quantum Artificial Intelligence group said that it was launching a new hardware push to design and build quantum computer processors based on superconducting electronics. The company said it chose the lab of Professor John Martinis.

“John and his group have made great strides in building superconducting quantum electronic components of very high fidelity,” Hartmut Neven, director of engineering at Google’s Quantum AI lab, said in the post.

The effort will be a short distance from Microsoft’s Station Q, an effort headed by quantum computing researcher Michael Freedman. It is housed in the California NanoSystems Institute on campus.

The two teams take different approaches toward the same goal: stable, reliable quantum computers. Quantum computers use unique properties of quantum mechanics, such as the ability of a particle to remain “undecided” between two different states, to become millions of times more powerful than conventional computers at solving certain kinds of problems.