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New Rigetti CEO plans to increase focus on improving fidelity

By Dan O'Shea posted 12 Jan 2023

In some of his first public comments since taking the helm of Rigetti Computing last month, President and CEO Dr. Subodh Kulkarni said the company’s main focus in the short term will be improving error rates and fidelity for Rigetti’s superconducting quantum computing system.

When asked at this week’s Needham & Co. Growth Conference what he plans to change at Rigetti, Kulkarni said, “I’m putting a lot more emphasis on fidelity and error rates than I believe the previous team had on the roadmap.. Instead of just pushing qubits I’m going to push fidelity as a higher priority… but fundamentally, the roadmap is not going to change that much.”

He said that current system fidelity rates of around 96% to 97%–meaning an error rate of near 4%–would be “alarming” in the traditional semiconductor and computing world that Kulkarni comes from. He also acknowledge that come quantum computer makers have systems with higher fidelity rates than Rigetti’s but not as much qubit processing power.

Kulkarni did not have much to say about Rigetti’s financial position after the company had to delay its third quarter earnings report last November, or the departure of his predecessor, company founder Chad Rigetti. He did say that Rigetti does not have an urgent need for more funding.

“We have, fortunately, enough cash to take us through the next two to three years without any issue,” he said.

Image: Screenshot of Rigetti Computing CEO Subodh Kulkarni, left, speaking at the Needham & Co. Growth Conference, along with David Rivas, SVP of systems and services at Rigetti.

Dan O’Shea has covered telecommunications and related topics including semiconductors, sensors, retail systems, digital payments and quantum computing/technology for over 25 years.

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