Highlights From the Nextbigfuture Interview with Stewart Allen
* IonQ systems are at room temperature
* IonQ manipulates ions with magnets and lasers and have software control on mostly FPGA chips
* IonQ are like atomic clocks, they do not have time limiting decoherence
* IonQ can invent and make any kind of quantum gate. It is a matter of software and tuning laser pulses.
* There are no errors from the fabrication of the qubits as the qubits are ions and not Josephson junctions.
* There are no idle errors, no readout errors and no qubit lifetime problem
* They could make 100-200 qubit modules and link them with optical interconnects.
* They can have modular scaling which is not possible or practical with the superconducting systems. Superconducting quantum systems need extreme cooling. This cooling limits the size of the systems
* Superconducting systems had proposed or were using access via a remote cloud computing submission of problems.
* IonQ will have quantum systems at specialized data centers and then at regular data centers. The reason for data centers is because the quantum systems generate so much data. You get more benefit by pairing them with a lot of classical computers to process the data.
* IonQ has a path to optical networking.
* IonQ has a confident path to scaling to thousands of qubits. They believe the error rates will let them get to thousands of qubits before error correction is needed.
* Error correction means you need a thousand times more qubits to get a number of useful error corrected qubits. You would need say one billion qubits to get to one million error corrected qubits.
IonQ is ramping up their improvement at a very fast rate. They are making revolutionary performance advances every day. Their strategy is to not release a commercial product now. They will ramp up improvement faster and then release when their lead and financing is such that they can support a product without slowing development.
They have done all this with only $22 million in funding from GV (Google Ventures), NEA (New Enterprise Associates) and Amazon AWS.