Tag Archive : Volume

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Last May, I had a discussion with Peter Chapman, CEO of IonQ, a start-up quantum computing company.  Before coming to IonQ, Chapman worked for Amazon, where he was responsible for all the technical complexities of Amazon Prime.  IonQ had accomplished a lot in the twelve months that Chapman had been at the helm, so I was looking forward to talking to him. 

My biggest surprise during that discussion was that IonQ was simultaneously working on its next three generations of its trapped-ion quantum computers – 5th, 6th, and 7th generations. 

In a recent follow-up with Chapman, including Chris Monroe, IonQ’s Co-founder and Chief Scientist, we discussed IonQ’s release of its 5th generation quantum hardware.  Keep in mind that the 6th and 7th generations are still in development. Chapman said that each generation would be smaller and more powerful than its predecessor when released.  Although he

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Extreme close-up photo of gold-colored computer component.
Enlarge / A look at one of the ion traps.

On Thursday, the startup IonQ announced that the next generation of its ion-trap quantum computer was ready for use. The new machine marks a major jump for the company, going from 11 qubits up to 32. While this still trails the offerings of companies that are using superconducting qubits, the high fidelity of the trapped ions makes them far less prone to errors and far easier to link into complex configurations. So, by at least one measure of performance, this is the most powerful quantum computer yet made.

Perhaps more significantly, IonQ’s CEO told Ars that it expects to be able to double the number of qubits every eight months for the next few years, meaning its hardware should consistently outperform classical computers within two years.

Trapping ions

IonQ isn’t the only company that’s working with trapped ions; Honeywell introduced

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