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Rigetti launches 32-qubit Aspen quantum computer for U.K. partners

By Dan O'Shea posted 22 Jun 2022

Rigetti U.K. Limited, Rigetti Computing’s subsidiary in the U.K., has announced its first U.K.-based quantum computer, launching cloud-based availability of the company’s 32-qubit Aspen-series quantum computer for that market.

The system will be available to Rigetti’s U.K. partners over the cloud through Rigetti QCS, the company’s cloud-based quantum computing-as-a-service offering.

Rigetti in the past has cited the U.K. market as a growing source of revenue for the company, and in its announcement this week it said, “Delivering this system achieves a key goal of the Rigetti-led consortium to accelerate the commercialization of quantum computing in the U.K. Rigetti is joined by Oxford Instruments, University of Edinburgh, Phasecraft, and Standard Chartered Bank in this initiative, and together will continue to advance practical applications in machine learning, materials simulation, and finance.” The consortium is backed by funding from the UK government’s Quantum Technologies Challenge, led by UK Research & Innovation.

Chad Rigetti, founder and CEO of Rigetti Computing, also called the launch “a major step towards our vision to integrate QPUs into the fabric of the cloud. By enabling cloud access to our QPUs, we believe our U.K. partners and end users will be closer to unlocking the potential of quantum computing to address their most pressing problems, and advance the U.K.’s vibrant quantum ecosystem.”

Rigetti’s U.K. partners also lauded the move. “Today’s announcement is truly a win for the UK’s position globally in quantum computing,” said Stuart Woods, Managing Director, Oxford Instruments NanoScience. 

Ashley Montanaro, co-founder of Phasecraft, a company focused on quantum computing applications, added, “Switching on this Rigetti quantum computer marks an important milestone for this project and the U.K. …Working closely with cutting-edge quantum hardware is crucial for us to significantly reduce the timescale for quantum advantage in this critically important area.” 

Elena Strbac, Global Head of Data Science Innovation at Standard Chartered Bank, said the bank has been working with Rigetti “experimenting with how quantum machine learning can improve volatility predictions in financial markets, and going forward are looking to explore large scale environmental, social and governance challenges.”

Rigetti also announced that it has received two Innovate U.K. awards as part of the ISCF Commercialising Quantum Technologies Challenge. Rigetti will work alongside Riverlane to focus on syndrome extraction, a crucial step in addressing quantum error correction. Separately, Rigetti will work with Phasecraft and telecom network operator BT to develop quantum algorithms and software for solving optimization and constraint satisfaction problems.

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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