The USC-Lockheed Martin Quantum Computing Center (QCC) has housed a D-Wave quantum annealing system, manufactured by D-Wave Systems, Inc., since it was established in 2011. QCC was the first organization outside D-Wave to house and operate its own system; the center has conducted pioneering research on three different generations of these early noisy, intermediate-scale quantum (NISQ) devices.
Operating quantum computing systems is demanding: the temperature of these systems needs to be kept near absolute zero (-273 degrees Celsius) and the devices must be electromagnetically shielded to protect the fragile quantum states from degradation by external noise. The main thrust of the research conducted at QCC has been to understand how this noise can adversely affect the computational power of these devices, and how to use them for real world applications. USC and ISI researchers, faculty, and students perform basic and applied research to NISQ computing devices and collaborate with researchers around the world.