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IndustryQuantum computing
FoundersChristopher Monroe, Jungsang Kim, David Moehring
Headquarters4505 Campus Drive, College Park, MD 20740
Products Trapped ion quantum computation

IonQ is a quantum computing hardware and software company based in College Park, Maryland. They are developing a general-purpose trapped ion quantum computer and software to generate, optimize, and execute quantum circuits.


IonQ was co-founded by Christopher Monroe and Jungsang Kim, professors at The University of Maryland.[1] and Duke University[2] in 2015[3], with the help of Harry Weller, a partner at venture firm New Enterprise Associates.[4]

The company is an offshoot of the co-founders’ 25 years of academic research in quantum information science.[3] Monroe's quantum computing research began as a postdoctoral researcher under Nobel laureate David Wineland[5] where he led a team using trapped ions to produce the first controllable qubits and the first controllable first quantum logic gate[6], culminating in a proposed architecture for a large-scale trapped ion computer.[7]

Kim and Monroe began collaborating formally as a result of larger research initiatives funded by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA).[8] They wrote a review paper[8] for Science Magazine entitled Scaling the Ion Trap Quantum Processor,[9] pairing Monroe's research in trapped ions with Kim’s focus on scalable quantum information processing and quantum communication hardware.[10]

This research partnership became the seed for IonQ’s founding. In 2015, New Enterprise Associates invested $2 million to commercialize the technology Monroe and Kim proposed in their Science paper.[4]

In 2016, they brought on David Moehring from IARPA—where he was in charge of several quantum computing initiatives[11]—to be the company’s chief executive and third co-founder.[3] In 2017, they raised a $20 million series B, led by GV (formerly Google Ventures) and New Enterprise Associates, the first investment GV has made in quantum computing technology.[12] They began hiring in earnest in 2017,[13] with the intent to bring an offering to market by late 2018.[3][14]


IonQ’s hardware is based on a trapped ion architecture, from technology that Monroe developed at the University of Maryland, and that Kim developed at Duke.[12]

In November 2017, IonQ presented a paper at the IEEE International Conference on Rebooting Computing describing their technology strategy and current progress. It outlines using a microfabricated ion trap and several optical and acousto-optical systems to cool, initialize, and calculate. They also describe a cloud API, custom language bindings, and quantum computing simulators that take advantage of their trapped ion system's complete connectivity[15]

IonQ and some experts claim that trapped ions could provide a number of benefits over other physical qubit types in several measures, such as accuracy, scalability, predictability, and coherence time.[16][3][17] Others criticize the slow operational times and relative size of trapped ion hardware, claiming other qubit technologies are just as promising.[18] For more details, see Trapped ion quantum computer.


  1. ^ Sickles, Kate. "Monroe, Christopher - UMD Physics".
  2. ^ "Jungsang Kim - Department of Physics".
  3. ^ a b c d e Castellanos, Sara (26 July 2017). "Venture Firms Back Startup with Novel Twist on Quantum Computing".
  4. ^ a b Gregg, Aaron (1 January 2017). "Start-up IonQ sees opportunity in still-developing area of quantum computers" – via
  5. ^ "Scientists are close to building a quantum computer that can beat a conventional one". 30 November 2016.
  6. ^ "Quantum Computing with Ions [Re-Post]".
  7. ^ Architecture for a large-scale ion-trap quantum computer | Nature |
  8. ^ a b "The future of ion traps". 7 March 2013.
  9. ^ Monroe, C.; Kim, J. (8 March 2013). "Scaling the Ion Trap Quantum Processor". Science. 339 (6124): 1164–1169. Bibcode:2013Sci...339.1164M. doi:10.1126/science.1231298. PMID 23471398 – via
  10. ^ "Welcome to Prof. Jungsang Kim's MIST Research Group - Multifunctional Integrated Systems Technology".
  11. ^ "Quantum Leaps - Trajectory Magazine". 3 August 2016.
  12. ^ a b IonQ. "IonQ Raises $20M Series B Round Led By NEA, GV To Advance Quantum Computing For Commercial Applications".
  13. ^ Castelvecchi, Davide (3 January 2017). "Quantum computers ready to leap out of the lab in 2017". Nature. 541 (7635): 9–10. Bibcode:2017Natur.541....9C. doi:10.1038/541009a. PMID 28054624.
  14. ^ BlueYard Capital (8 September 2017). "Building a Quantum Computer: David Moehring, IonQ" – via YouTube.
  15. ^ "Reconfigurable and Programmable Ion Trap Quantum Computer - IEEE Conference Publication".
  16. ^ Monroe, Christopher R.; Schoelkopf, Robert J.; Lukin, Mikhail D. (19 April 2016). "Quantum Connections". Scientific American. 314 (5): 50–57. doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0516-50.
  17. ^ arXiv, Emerging Technology from the. "The Long-Awaited Promise of a Programmable Quantum Computer".
  18. ^ Monroe, Christopher R.; Schoelkopf, Robert J.; Lukin, Mikhail D. (19 April 2016). "Quantum Connections". Scientific American. 314 (5): 50–57. doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0516-50.

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