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The Impact of Quantum Computing Might Be Seen Sooner Than You Think

Exclusive: Rigetti Computing, a leader in quantum computing, discusses its long-term goals to assist financial institutions and the automotive industry in utilising the potentially game-changing devices.


The drive to produce quantum computers was started by Rigetti Computing in 2013. The business stated on Friday that this initiative could start to show significant results in 2023.


That’s because the Berkeley, California-based startup intends to deploy both its Ankaa, a machine from the fourth generation, and Lyra, an upgraded version. When these radically different machines develop into tools that really produce outcomes beyond the capabilities of traditional computers, the company expects that it will usher in “quantum advantage,” according to founder and CEO of Rigetti Chad Rigetti.


In order to execute calculations that are impossible on the traditional computer processors that power smartphones, laptops, and data centres, quantum computers rely on the peculiar physics of ultrasmall elements like atoms and photons. Advocates anticipate that the development of quantum computers would result in advances such as more potent auto batteries, novel medicines, quicker package delivery, and improved artificial intelligence.


Quantum computers are currently exceedingly pricey scientific endeavours. However, Rigetti is one of several people vying to gain a quantum advantage first. This includes industry leaders like Silicon Quantum Computing, Quantinuum, IonQ, PsiQuantum, and computer giants like IBM, Google, Baidu, and Intel.


Before the company’s inaugural investor day, Rigetti declared in an exclusive interview that “this is the next space race.”


For the occasion, the business is providing more information on its whole technology portfolio, including manufacturing, hardware, the programmes that will run on its computers, and the cloud services used to connect with clients. Rigetti stated, “We’re building the entire rocket.


Despite not being a household name, Rigetti is respected in this society. Rigetti, one of a select few publicly traded quantum computing businesses, raised $262 million in February. Investors are less trusting despite the company’s repeated assurances that its quantum computing business is a long-term strategy. Since becoming public, its stock price has decreased by around three quarters, and most recently, Rigetti’s announcement of the delay of a $4 million US government contract that would have contributed significantly to the company’s annual revenue of $12 to $13 million, has impacted the stock price.


Qubit-rich quantum computers
However, the corporation insists that its strategy is the best one going forward. Beginning in early 2023, Ankaa is a processor equipped with 84 qubits, the core component of a quantum computer used for data processing. Lyra is a 336-qubit processor built on four of them ganged together. The names are derived from astronomy: Lyra is a constellation, while Ankaa is a star.


The 336 qubit system may not provide a quantum advantage, but that is Rigetti’s hope. The prospect, according to us, is very real, Rigetti added.


More qubits are essential for the more complex algorithms required for quantum advantage. Customers in the financial, automotive, and governmental sectors, according to Rigetti, should be eager to pay for that quantum computing capability. According to Rigetti, financial services firms are constantly looking for more effective ways to identify patterns and make trading decisions, while auto businesses may study new battery technologies and improve their intricate manufacturing processes.


In 2025 and 2027, respectively, Rigetti intends to connect its Ankaa modules into 1,000-qubit and 4,000-qubit computers.


However, Rigetti is not the only business attempting to create a rocket. With ambitions to release 433-qubit models in 2023 and more than 4,000 qubit models in 2025, IBM now has a 127-qubit quantum computer. Qubit count is a crucial consideration even though it is only one aspect of a quantum computer’s usefulness.


What Rigetti is doing in terms of qubits pales in contrast to IBM, according to Paul Smith-Goodson of Moor Insights & Strategy.


Deals with quantum computing by Rigetti
Along with those machines, Rigetti anticipates advances in manufacturing, including the company’s currently under construction 5,000 square foot expansion of its Fremont, California, chip fabrication facility, advancements in the error correction technology required to perform more complex quantum computing calculations, and better software and services to enable customers to use its machines.


At its investor event, Rigetti also unveiled four new deals to further its objectives:


Nvidia, a leader in graphics and AI chips, has started a partnership to combine quantum and traditional computers to enhance climate modelling.
Access to Rigetti machines will be available through Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing service.

Since its machines must be cooled almost to absolute zero, Bluefors will construct new refrigerators to handle the 1,000- and 4,000-qubit systems. This relationship will be crucial for technology.

To conduct more sophisticated calculations, Keysight Technologies will present their approach for lowering quantum computing error rates.

Progress in quantum computing depends on being able to handle faults since qubits are easily affected. Thus, a stronger foundation is less prone to mistakes. Gate fidelity is a metric that is used by manufacturers of quantum computers to monitor this. Currently, Rigetti is at a fidelity of 95% to 97%, but prototypes for its fourth-generation Ankaa-based systems have demonstrated 99%, according to Rigetti.


Analyst Smith-Goodson believes that quantum computing will someday be of benefit, but there is a lot of uncertainty about how and when this will happen.


Everyone is aiming for a machine with a million qubits, he said. “We don’t know which technology will be the one that succeeds in the long run.”

Himanshu Mahawar

Himanshu Mahawar is the Editor and Founder at Flaunt Weekly.

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