Building Beyond Tomorrow

Beyond Silicon

Semiconductors are the brainpower behind most of the electronic devices we use daily such as phones, computers, cars and the like. Disruptions to supply and demand during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, led to a global shortage. That global shortage, presents not only an opportunity to reshore American manufacturing of critical technologies, but to push beyond silicon and usher in the next era of computing. Silicon has been the go-to material for semiconductors for decades, but as technology advances, so must our materials. As our devices get smaller and smarter, we are looking beyond silicon for new materials and technologies that would prove more effective. One of those new technologies is quantum.

Unlocking a new realm of technological possibility.

At its core, “quantum” refers to the tiniest particles and energies in the universe. The particles behave in ways that can bend our perception of reality, but harnessing the power of these particles unlocks a new realm of technological possibility and has led to incredible scientific innovation like lasers, MRI scanners and computers. Furthering quantum research could provide solutions for complex optimization problems, accelerate drug discovery, enhance supply chain management, strengthen data encryption and more.

Work that will pioneer growth in quantum research, building a future workforce and economic growth.

Illinois is a proven leader in quantum information science and engineering research and has recently been named a U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) Tech Hub for The Bloch, which will work to accelerate the regional adoption of quantum information science and technology (QIST) by building a framework that can then be used across a variety of industries. This work will pioneer growth in quantum research, build a future quantum workforce and build economic growth and jobs. The state has four of the ten National Quantum Initiative centers and institutes, funded through the National Sciences Foundation and Department of Energy. The Chicago Quantum Exchange is the largest university-led quantum initiative in the country. Based in Chicago, it is anchored by the University of Chicago, the US Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, the University of Wisconsin–Madison,and Northwestern University. The CQE is a catalyst for research activity among member and partner institutions, and securing EDA Tech Hub funding will propel Illinois to a global leadership position in the QISE Space, as the industry is projected to reach $106 billion by 2040.

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