Inside Quantum Technology

Can A Modular Chip Approach Help Build an 80Q System in 6 Months?

Boosting the number of qubits on a chip and developing the tech to connect these chips into larger processing systems is how Rigetti Computing plans to reach its goal of an 80-qubit system running on their cloud services platform later this year.

The idea is that rather than increasing the size of the chips to power larger quantum computers, which in turn also increases error and failure rates, the path toward scalability is connecting larger numbers of reliable, powerful, but smaller, chips to create a larger system.

Rigetti is a Berkeley-based company delivering full-stack quantum computing services over their cloud platform and is manufacturing their own chips at its own California foundry.

It’s an approach Marko Lončar, a Harvard professor of electrical engineering working on quantum hardware, who is familiar with the company’s work called an “…elegant, effective solution to this major technical challenge.”

Stanford’s Amir Safavi-Naeini is encouraged by Regetti’s work and sees the modular approach as “promising.

Chad Rigetti, the founder of the company sees the development in even more revolutionary terms.

“We’ve developed a fundamentally new approach to scaling quantum computers,” Rigetti said. “Our proprietary innovations in chip design and manufacturing have unlocked what we believe is the fastest path to building the systems needed to run practical applications and error correction.”

The test will be whether Rigetti is able to meet their ambitious 80Q system goal in the remaining six months of 2021.

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