Podcast: Honeywell Traps, Zaps Ions for Science

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In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team looks at Honeywell’s Trapped Ion Quantum Computing initiative.

We quickly move to our main topic: Honeywell’s Trapped Ion Quantum computing initiative. Shahin gives us a good overview of digital vs. analog and classical vs. quantum science (I recommend listeners white board out the quadrants he’s describing and their contents). The Honeywell system is in the ‘quantum-gate’ quadrant of Shahin’s model, suspending ions in space through magnetics and then hitting them with lasers to produce entanglement. The Honeywell system is interesting because it is scoring well on the emerging Quantum Volume metric – showing very high fidelity for its qubit count. This system is the culmination of over 10 years of R&D and should be on the market later on this year.

Other highlights:

Studying from Home: How does studying from home compare to working from home? Our second topic today is a dive into how universities are operating during the virus-related physical campus closings. Our own Jessi explains how her Purdue classes are now being conducted online with professors either video recording lectures or narrating slide decks. Some of her classes are truncated due to platform limits and tech problems. This is probably to be expected given the sudden move to online. There are practical considerations as well. Many students were on spring break when the lock downs went into place, so they don’t have their books or clothes with them. Jessi definitely does not think that online universities are the wave of the future. She strongly prefers the physical model where she can interact with students and professors. According to Jessi, nothing beats the physical model when it comes to higher ed.

Henry: shares that Chinese hackers may have been living in the guts of Linux since 2012. This is truly a chilling thought, as Linux runs a good portion of mission critical systems and almost all the cloud systems in the world. How big a threat is this? Listen to the pod to find out.

Jessi: COBOL LIVES! The state of New Jersey is desperately looking for COBOL programmers to keep their creaky unemployment insurance system cranking along.

Henry: hooked a big fish, but passed it over to Shahin who thinks it’s pretty sublime.

Shahin: landed Henry’s catch, which is a very rare film of the WW2 British code breakers hard at work at the legendary Bletchley Park site. Amazing stuff.

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