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Rigetti Computing is working on Building Quantum Computing Chip

Two-year-old Berkley startup-company Rigetti Computing is at the forefront of advanced quantum computer development, and they may be on the verge of an industry breakthrough.  For years, companies have been racing to create hardware solutions for quantum computing, but little significant progress has been made.  However, Rigetti is hoping to change all of that with a brand new breed of computer chips.

Rigetti believes super cold temperatures are the key to accessing the power of quantum mechanics, and they have been conducting many experiments using liquid helium to cool experimental computer chips to near absolute zero.    Although their experiments are still in the early stages, Rigetti hopes to have a functional prototype chip capable of powering a quantum computer by 2017.

“This is a very exciting time,” says Daniel Lidar, director of the Center for Quantum Information Science and Technology at the University of Southern California. “This is not incremental; we’re really starting to see various groups working with superconducting qubits taking big strides forward.”

The central idea behind quantum computing involves bringing together delicately balanced components known as qubits into one ultra-powerful computer chip.  These qubits can act as a “0” or a “1” just like standard computer chips, but they are unique in that they can also take on both numbers at once.  In theory this would result in extremely fast computing, but in practice the qubits have proven rather difficult to rely on due to their fragile balances.

This attempt at creating quantum computing chips is as immensely ambitious by industry insiders, as truly viable quantum computers have eluded everyone from Google to the US government.  If Rigetti can somehow make a breakthrough before anyone else then their revue streams would expand immensely in the years to follow.


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