In 2013, Rigetti Computing began its endeavors to make quantum computers. The company said on Friday that the effort could bear serious fruits starting in 2023.
That’s because next year, the Berkeley, California-based company plans to offer both a fourth-generation machine, called the Ankaa, and an extended model called the Lyra. Rigetti founder and CEO Chat Rigetti said the company hopes these machines will lead to a “quantitative advantage,” when radically different machines mature into devices that deliver results beyond the reach of traditional computers.
Quantum computers rely on the exotic physics of ultra-tiny elements such as atoms and photons to perform calculations that are impractical on the traditional computer processors that power smartphones, laptops and data centers. Proponents hope quantum computers will lead to more powerful car batteries, new drugs, more efficient package delivery, more effective artificial intelligence, and other breakthroughs.
So far, quantum computers are very expensive research projects. Rigetti is among a large group scrambling to be the first to have the sleeve advantage. This includes tech giants such as IBM, Google, Baidu and Intel, and professionals such as QuantiniumAnd the Eun QAnd the PsiQuantumAnd the Pascal And the Quantum computing for silicon.
“This is the new space race,” Rigetti said in an exclusive interview before the company’s first investor day.
For the event, the company is revealing more details about its full suite of technology, including manufacturing, hardware, and applications that will work with computers and cloud services to reach customers. “We are building the entire rocket,” Rigetti said.
Although Rigetti is not a household name, he does carry weight in this world. in february, Rigetti raised $262 million It became one of the few publicly traded quantum computing companies. Although the company has been clear that its quantum computing business is a long-term plan, investors are becoming more skeptical. Its share price has fallen by about three-quarters since it went public, which was dented recently when Rigetti announced the postponement of a $4 million US government contract that would have made a significant portion of the company’s annual revenue of about $12 million to $13 million.
Quantum computers with more qubits
However, the company argues that it is taking the right approach in the long run. It starts in early 2023 with the Ankaa, a processor that includes 84 qubits, the primary data processing component of a quantum computer. Four of these clustered together are the basis of the Lyra machine, which is 336 qubits. The names are astronomical: Anka is a star, and Lyra is a constellation.
Rigetti doesn’t promise a quantum advantage over a 336-qubit machine, but that’s the company’s hope. “We think it’s definitely in the realm of possibilities,” Rigetti said.
Having more qubits is essential for more complex algorithms needed for quantum advantage. Rigetti hopes that customers in the finance, automotive and government sectors will be eager to pay for this quantum computing horsepower. Auto companies can research new battery technologies and improve their complex manufacturing processes, and financial services companies are always looking for better ways to identify trends and make trading decisions.
Rigetti plans to connect its Ankaa modules to larger hardware: a 1,000-kilobit computer in 2025 and a 4,000-kilobit model in 2027.
Rigetti isn’t the only company trying to build a rocket. IBM currently has a 127-qubit quantum computer, with plans to model 433 qubits in 2023 and more than 4,000 qubits in 2025. Although the number of qubits is only one measure of a quantum computer tool, it is an important factor.
“What Rigetti does in terms of qubits pales in comparison to IBM,” Moor Insights & Strategy analsyt said. Paul Smith Goodson.
Rigetti deals for quantum computing
Alongside these machines, Rigetti anticipates developments in manufacturing, including a 5,000-square-foot expansion of the company’s chip-making facility in Fremont, California now underway, and improvements in error-correction technology needed to perform more than ephemeral quantum computing computations, and better software and services so that customers can actually use their devices.
To achieve its goals, Rigetti also announced four new deals at its investor event:
- Chip, graphics and artificial intelligence giant Nvidia has started a partnership to marry quantum and classical computing to improve climate modeling
- Microsoft’s Azure cloud service will provide access to Rigetti devices
- Bluefors will build new refrigerators to accommodate 1,000 and 4,000 kbps systems, a key technology partnership where their appliances must be cooled almost to absolute zero.
- Keysight Technologies will introduce its technology to reduce quantum computing error rates, a critical step in performing more complex computations.
It facilitates perturbation of qubits, so dealing with errors is critical to the progress of quantum computing. So a better foundation is less prone to errors. Quantum computer makers track this with a measurement called gate precision. Rigetti has a fidelity of 95% to 97% today, but prototypes of fourth-generation systems based on Ankaa have shown 99%, Rigetti said.
In the eyes of analyst Smith-Judson, quantum computing will eventually become useful, but there is a lot of uncertainty about how and when we’ll get there.
“Everyone is working for a million qubit machine,” he said. “We’re not sure what technology will really be the technology it will actually make.”