UK buys Rigetti quantum computer in £10m deal

September 02, 2020 //By Nick Flaherty
Rigetti Quantum Computing Processor
The UK is to buy a quantum computer from Rigetti Computing as part of a £10m (€11.2m) project to provide a cloud quantum computing service housed at Harwell, Oxfordshire.

The Rigetti quantum computer system will be hosted at the newly announced National Quantum Computer Centre in Abingdon, Oxfordshire. Rigetti has also developed a cloud-based platform allowing computer programmers to write quantum algorithms and will work alongside Oxford Instruments, Standard Chartered and Bristol and London-based quantum software start-up Phasecraft, as well as the University of Edinburgh.

A Rigetti superconducting quantum computer is already commercially available in the Amazon Web Service (AWS) Bracket cloud, alongside other US-based systems using different approaches from D-Wave and IonQ.

The UK government expects quantum computing to provide £4 billion of economic opportunities globally by 2024, while in the coming decades productivity gains resulting from quantum computing are expected to surpass over £341 billion globally.

“Our ambition is to be the world’s first quantum-ready economy, which could provide UK businesses and industries with billions of pounds worth of opportunities. Therefore, I am delighted that companies across the country will have access to our first commercial quantum computer, to be based in Abingdon,” said UK Science Minister Amanda Solloway.

“This a key part of our plan to build back better using the latest technology, attract the brightest and best talent to the UK and encourage world-leading companies to invest here,” she said.

“We are excited to deliver the UK’s first quantum computer and help accelerate the development of practical algorithms and applications,” said Chad Rigetti, CEO of Rigetti Computing.

There are currently only a small number of quantum computing platforms being developed around the world – presenting an opportunity for the UK to be at the forefront of this technology. The activities announced today will help promote quantum computing across the UK economy, providing businesses with the best opportunity to take advantage of these new technologies in the years to come.

The £93m Centre, first announced in 2018, will bring together academia, businesses and the government to address key challenges to quantum computing, such as scaling-up the technology

Picture: 
The Rigetti Quantum Computing Processor

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