Ampere goes quantum: Get your qubits in the cloud
(AnandTech.com) Dr. Ian Cutress discusses Rigetti’s work with Ampere Computing who makes Arm-based cloud processors called Altra, are planning to introduce a hybrid quantum/classical solution for the cloud in 2023. Inside Quantum Technology summarizes here for our readers.
For the last few years, there has been a focus in putting high-performance computational resources within reach of everyone. The offering of cloud computing, web services, and 1000s of processors at your fingertips has never been more real, or been more easy. With enough money in your bucket, the cloud providers make it easy to spin up resources for storage, networking, services, or compute. Cloud computing like this is designed to scale as and when you need it. Rigetti wants to do the same with quantum computing.
Rigetti Computing, founded in 2013, is a series C funded quantum computing startup with a public $200m investment to date. Late last year, it announced the start of its new scalable quantum computing infrastructure – with a chip containing 40 transmon-style qubits, multiple chips can be embedded onto a single package for a single quantum computing chandelier. The goal of these designs is to accelerate machine learning, both for quantum compute and classical compute, and as a result, they’re partnering with Ampere Computing which makes the Altra Max Arm-based CPUs.
At this point of the partnership, Rigetti and Ampere are at work developing a combination system up and running. Right now, the Ampere CPUs are to be part of the coupled performance resource, although Rigetti says that there could be a time where Ampere’s hardware might replace the FPGAs in the control units of the quantum system itself. The partnership aims to start working on a proof of concept, creating a local-to-Rigetti example of a cloud-native hybrid quantum/classical infrastructure, and creating a software stack optimized for machine learning. Rigetti says that it is already working with customers interested in the co-design to give itself targets for software optimizations.
The timeline for the rollout is still early, with a proof-of-concept planned over the next few months, then deployment with tier 1 cloud partners through 2023. The idea is to initially work with key customers to help optimize their workflows to combine with the hardware. Then it’s simply a case of scale out – more qubits for quantum, more CPUs for classical. Ampere is set to launch Siryn this year, its own custom Arm core built on next generation process node technology, and we were told that the scope is to bring in future Ampere generations as they are developed.