Startup opens fab for quantum ICs

July 25, 2017 // By Peter Clarke
Startup Rigetti Quantum Computing Inc. (Berkeley, Calif.) has opened its own wafer fab for quantum computing circuits and announced the availability of Forest 1.0, an application programming interface to an execution environment for quantum/classical computing.

Forest can be used to simulate how algorithms will work on up to 30 qubits using a quantum virtual machine running in the cloud or to interact with quantum hardware using function calls that execute on an active quantum computing system.

Rigetti claims it has developed both superconducting through-silicon vias (TSVs) and a low-temperature bonding for 3D integration and has created its own quantum integrated circuit ffab that is calls Fab-1. The fab is located in Fremont and opened on June 20.

Rigetti said that Fab-1 is based on the latest semiconductor processing tools and technology but allows a rapid turnaround for circuits of about two weeks. Rigetti didn't indicate what size wafers it works with or at what minimum geometry.

"I expect Fab-1 to be a key driver and strategic advantage in our march towards ever greater processing power (more qubits, faster gate times) and performance (longer coherence times, lower error rates, greater connectivity) from quantum chips over the coming years," said Chad Rigetti, CEO, on the company's website.

Nagesh Vodrahalli, has joined Rigetti has vice president of process technology, to lead the company's overall fab strategy. Vodrahalli has working in semiconductor manufacturing at Intel, Hewlett Packard and Altera.

Rigetti has demonstrated a two-qubit gate scheme based on direct parametric modulation of qubit frequencies and an 8-quibit device. Both devices werr fabricated on high-resistivity silicon substrates.

Rigetti has also entered into a collaboration with the Quantum Characterization, Verification, and Validation (QCVV) team at Sandia National Labs with initial results expected later this year.

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