I sure hope God has a Plan B, cause these apes are taking too long to evolve. Well, at least some other investors have a Plan B.
According to this press article published on Aug 11, 2014, Tim Draper et al have recently invested 2.5 million dollars in a startup called Rigetti Computing. I explained in a previous blog post Draper’s “Six Californias”, a hell-of-an-idea. Billionaire Draper is the head of Draper, Fisher and Jurvetson, a VC firm that has invested heavily on D-Wave. And Jurvetson is of course the inventor of the Rosy Law.
The leading scientist and founder of Rigetti Comp. is Chad Rigetti. You can get a good idea of what type of machine he is planning to build by looking at his 2009 Ph.D. thesis at Yale. The thesis describes work done in support of Yale University’s QLab, a lab that is trying to build a gate model quantum computer based on superconductive technology.
At first, the Rigetti people are only going to do finite element analysis using a software called Ansys. So, at first, they aren’t going to build any hardware at all, just blueprint it. Yikes! Not too reassuring. The Yale people, IBM and Martinis have similar machines (gate model, superconductive qubits) but Martinis, at least for now, is way ahead of the pack, with about 50 people working on his machine, and a lot of actually built and tested hardware under his belt. I think the Rigetti people should try to join forces with Martinis. That’s what I would try to do.
So Tim Draper has decided to hedge his bets by betting on both D-Wave and Rigetti, a gate model nemesis of D-Wave. The D-Wave staff probably see this as a Judas move, but I see it as just plain common sense, a Plan B if you will. Besides, Rigetti might some day acquire D-Wave or vice versa. I think the founding of Rigetti Comp is very good news for quantum computing as a whole. An exciting horse race may be in the offing.