Quantum Bayesian Networks

August 14, 2017

Quantum Computing Wrestlemania 2017-2018; Microsoft planning to buy Rigetti?

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 2:35 am

Whoneitral trapl be the contenders for the 2017-2018 Quantum Computing Wrestlemania Event? Google together with NASA bought a Dwave quantum computer, an annealer qc, on May 2013, and upon hiring Martinis in Sept 2014, Google told the press that it intended to build an annealer qc like DWave’s, but with error correction. However, since then, Google has changed plans and has promised a 49= 7X7 gate model, not annealer, qc, to be delivered by the end this year.

If you look at the Wikipedia article on superconducting quantum computing, it contains a table comparing 3 types of Josephson Junction (JJ) qubits: charge, flux and phase. Google’s 49 qubit device is going to be a charge JJ qc. The IBM and Rigetti qc’s are also charge JJ qc’s. Hence, it is now clear that a gladiator contest between Google (led by John Martinis and Hartmut Neven), IBM (led by Jerry Chow) and Rigetti (led by Chad Rigetti) is inevitable in the next few years. If Google and IBM are 800 pound gorillas in this contest, then Rigetti is an 8 pound one. Furthermore, another alpha male 800 pound gorilla is missing from this triad: Microsoft. Microsoft has the only large scale Majorana qc effort in the world, but this effort is much less advanced than the Google & IBM JJ qc efforts. Microsoft does not have any large JJ qc effort as far as I know. What it does have is a lot of moolah. So, in my opinion, it is quite possible that, in order to compete with their nemesis Google in the JJ qc arena, Microsoft will attempt to buy Rigetti. On the other hand, they may decide to sidestep Rigetti and buy some Rigetti imitator that is out there but is still too young to have registered in my radar screen.

(Sept. 14, 2017, Update: Just realized another option for Microsoft: instead of buying Rigetti, Microsoft could try to acquire QCI, a spin-off of the Yale Quantum Institute, which is also trying to build a charge JJ qc)

Besides JJ qc’s, another type of gate model qc that has garnered commercial funding is the trapped atoms qc. In that arena, there are two main contenders; IonQ (led by Chris Monroe, uses ions held place by Paul trap), and a Harvard-Russia group (led by Mikhail Lukin, uses neutral atoms held in place by optical tweezers).

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