An Entirely Different Kind of Quantum Computer

That’s mainly because, as of yet, there is no real consensus on which technological approach will be able make universal quantum computing commercially viable.

In a recent conversation with IonQ CEO and cofounder Chris Monroe, he told us why he believes this approach has the best chance of making the leap into commercial quantum computing.

Since the laser beams are under programmatic control, the quantum hardware can be constructed on the fly to optimize the circuit layout for the application.

Quantum computing is intended to be applied to a wide array of optimization problems in areas such as quantum chemistry, logistics, machine learning, and cryptography, so being able to codesign the hardware with the software in FPGA-like fashion is yet another way IonQ differentiates itself from its hard-wired competition.

That’s as good as or better than what any solid-state quantum device has been able to achieve to date.

According to him, those systems will need perhaps just 10 or 20 qubits per usable qubit, which is orders of magnitude lower than what will be required for error correction with solid-state quantum devices.

Monroe thinks solid-state quantum computing processors are a dead end.

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