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HP, MIT Launch Joint Quantum Computing Project

Press release from the issuing company

PALO ALTO, Calif. & CAMBRIDGE, Mass.- Aug. 8, 2001--Hewlett-Packard Company and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology today announced a joint effort aimed at building quantum information systems. The $2.5 million, 4-1/2-year research quantum computing project is part of an existing $25 million, five-year multi-faceted research alliance launched in June 2000, as well as a decades-long collaboration between the two organizations. "With HP's success in molecular electronics research and MIT's expertise in quantum computing, we have a powerful one-two punch for the advancement of quantum information systems,'' said HP Fellow Stan Williams, director of quantum science research, HP Labs. "Our work together has the potential to develop valuable, innovative technologies such as theoretically perfectly secure communications networks.'' Researchers from HP Labs in Palo Alto and Bristol, U.K., will work with their counterparts in quantum computing from the renowned MIT Media Lab -- Professors Neil Gershenfeld and Issac L. "Ike'' Chuang -- and Dr. Seth Lloyd, an Associate Professor at MIT's Mechanical Engineering Department and a leading theorist of quantum computing. "HP helped launch physical science research at the Media Lab to look beyond the limits of conventional computing and ask how the bits of the digital world can best be integrated with the atoms of the physical world,'' said Gershenfeld, director, MIT Media Lab's Physics and Media group and Things That Think consortium. "We're delighted that our joint explorations have matured into this significant new program to unite our complementary strengths in developing quantum information processing beyond the limits of silicon technology.'' "Like the Wright brothers, Ike and Neil are pioneers -- two of a few experimentalists who have actually built and operated a simple quantum computer,'' said Phil Kuekes, computer architect and senior scientist, HP Labs. "In addition, we have people like Seth and Tim Spiller and Sandu Popescu of HP Labs Bristol who bring world-class reputations on quantum computing theory to the project.'' Quantum information systems, including quantum computers and molecular electronics, represent a fundamentally new approach to processing information. Within the next 10 years, molecular electronics is expected to begin to become available as a replacement for silicon-based computing technologies. Further down the road, quantum computers are expected to provide the basis for theoretically perfectly secure communications, advanced searching techniques and efficiently simulating quantum mechanical systems. About the MIT Media Lab The MIT Media Lab, based in Cambridge, Mass., is concerned with people, computers, and the quality of life in the electronic age. Originally centered around creating a new vision of multimedia and man/machine interface, today's research agenda focuses more on how electronic information overlaps with the everyday physical world. Approximately 170 corporate sponsors from throughout the world support the laboratory's work, which focuses on physics and media, how children learn, human and machine vision, speech interfaces, wearable computers, affective computing, advanced interface design, object-oriented video, interactive cinema, digital expression, spatial imaging, and new approaches to technologies for communities in developing nations. Much of this work is tightly coupled with four sponsor-supported consortia: Digital Life, Information:Organized, Things That Think, and Digital Nations.