Interview with IonQ’s CEO Chapman; Moving from Amazon Prime to Trapped Ions
(GeekWire) Peter Chapman, the president and CEO of IonQ, explained his decision to move into the quantum computing sector after his successful tenure as Amazon Prime’s engineering director, “I really like that kind of bleeding edge,”
Chapman points out that quantum computing promises to address the same kinds of optimization problems that Chapman had to deal with for Amazon’s next-day deliveries, but on a grand scale. Also, Chapman previously worked for futurist Ray Kurzweil, and he believes quantum computers provide the only path to strong, human-like artificial intelligence.
IonQ and Trapped Ions
IonQ should be edgy enough for Chapman because it’s on the bleeding edge of quantum computing, with an unconventional technology that relies on the properties of trapped ions. Chapman said the trapped ions behave in line with straightforward physics.
The challenge facing IonQ is to knit together an increasing number of qubits while maintaining control over the connections. Monroe said the company’s researchers have demonstrated fully interconnected systems in the range of 50 qubits, and are “pushing well into the 20s of qubits” for computational purposes. “We’re very careful about scaling up,” he said. “We’re not going to throw a million qubits on the table unless we can do millions of operations.”