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IonQ Announces New Barium Qubit Technology, Laying Foundation For Advanced Quantum Computing Architectures

Barium qubits are highly stable and offer many ways to increase computing fidelity and speed
Technology allows IonQ to use standard photonics devices to build more reliable quantum computers
Barium enables IonQ to more easily network its computers together, forming powerful modular systems that quickly scale qubit counts

IonQ, Inc. a leader in quantum computing, announced that it plans to use barium ions as qubits in its systems, bringing about a wave of advantages it believes will enable advanced quantum computing architectures. IonQ is the first quantum computing company able to harness more than one atomic species as qubits, having built its systems to date with ytterbium ions. Now, IonQ plans to use barium ions to build systems that are designed to be faster, more powerful, more easily interconnected, and that feature more uptime for customers.

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“IonQ builds the world’s most powerful quantum computers, and the ability to build systems with barium qubits will help us bring our customers even closer to realizing the commercial benefits of quantum,” said Peter Chapman, President and CEO of IonQ. “We believe the advanced architectures enabled by barium qubits will be even more powerful and more scalable than the systems we have been able to build so far, opening the door to broader applications of quantum computing.”

IonQ expects the key benefits of quantum computers based on barium qubits to include:

  • Lower error rates, higher gate fidelity, and better state detection. IonQ’s quantum computers already outperform industry peers, as demonstrated in an industry study by the Quantum Economic Development-Consortium in October. IonQ expects barium qubits to improve the performance of its quantum gates and qubit measurement, leading to even more useful quantum computers.
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  • A foundation for iterable, more reliable hardware, with more uptime for customers. Barium qubits are controlled primarily with visible light—rather than ultraviolet light—allowing IonQ to build its future quantum computers with standard silicon photonics technology. Visible light devices are easier to source and more reliable than their ultraviolet equivalents. Using standard technology will allow IonQ to scale its computers and replace components more easily, providing more computing time for customers than ever before.

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  • More easily networked quantum systems. IonQ plans to connect multiple quantum processing units together with light, creating a modular system with greatly improved processing power. Barium qubits pave the way for higher levels of device integration and easier networking of multiple systems.

“We believe that the addition of barium qubits to IonQ systems opens up tremendous technical opportunities for making our systems more scalable, more reliable, and easier to build,” said Jungsang Kim, Co-Founder and CTO of IonQ. “By leveraging the inherent advantages of barium qubits, we plan to access new features for building advanced quantum computers that we believe will be relevant for solving critical societal problems.”

PREDICTIONS-SERIES-2022

This announcement builds upon a series of technology milestones achieved by IonQ in recent months. IonQ’s future systems will include specially designed Evaporated Glass Traps (EGTs), which were introduced earlier this year as a means to make trapped ion technology even more stable and accurate. Earlier this year, IonQ also unveiled a reconfigurable multicore quantum architecture (RMQA), which IonQ expects to rapidly increase the number of qubits in each system. IonQ believes its systems are poised to continue exceeding expectations with the use of barium qubits.

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[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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