IonQ NEW $25.5M Partnership with US Air Force Research Lab

H Hannan

IonQ Expands Partnership with Air Force Research Lab to Advance Quantum Networking
Read More Quantum Computing News HERE.

Quantum computing leader IonQ has announced an expanded $25.5 million relationship with the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) to provide two new trapped ion quantum systems for research on quantum networking and applications. The deal solidifies collaboration between the public and private sectors to progress quantum science and technologies critical to national security.

The agreement comes one year after IonQ first partnered with AFRL to offer access to its industry-leading trapped ion quantum computers. IonQ will deliver and deploy the new barium-based systems at AFRL’s Rome, New York facility under the latest contract.

Quantum Technologies Identified as a National Priority

The expanded IonQ-AFRL partnership follows increased U.S. government prioritization and funding for quantum science under initiatives like the National Quantum Initiative enacted in 2018. With bipartisan congressional support, these efforts aim to maintain U.S. leadership in developing quantum technologies key to economic competitiveness and defence.

AFRL Information Directorate Deputy Director Michael Hayduk noted the lab is seeing “incredible achievements” in trapped ion systems that will bring revolutionary capabilities to the Air Force. The IonQ collaboration will support AFRL’s mission of spearheading next-generation quantum networking and communications.

Maryland congressman and House Appropriations Committee member Dutch Ruppersberger, who helped secure NQI funding, applauded the IonQ-AFRL agreement. He stated quantum computing will be a transformative field yielding critically important military technologies. Ruppersberger said the U.S. cannot risk trailing rivals like China in quantum research and development.

Senator Chris Van Hollen of Maryland also praised the public-private partnership between AFRL and home-state company IonQ. Hollen said he will continue efforts to position the U.S. at the forefront of quantum and other advanced technologies through key investments.

IonQ Systems Approach Enterprise-Ready Performance

IonQ CEO Peter Chapman said the company is committed to supporting national defence needs as its systems reach unprecedented scales. IonQ’s forthcoming 64-qubit system is poised to usher in an era of enterprise-ready quantum computing.

Chapman said by advancing quantum networking, communications and computing, this AFRL partnership will build on IonQ’s trajectory from foundational science towards directly enabling agency missions.

In the second quarter of 2022, IonQ saw a record $28 million in bookings as major organizations tapped its systems’ capabilities. IonQ also recently partnered with Quantum Basel to establish a European quantum data centre, expanding global infrastructure.

With teams now able to access IonQ’s quantum power via cloud platforms including Amazon Bracket, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud, adoption is accelerating. The AFRL deployment provides researchers direct access to cutting-edge hardware to push boundaries.

IonQ’s Trapped Ion Systems Lead the Quantum Field

Powering IonQ’s quantum computers are strings of individual ytterbium atoms confined by electromagnetic fields in vacuum chambers. Each atom acts as a qubit representing data as quantum superpositions – a breakthrough enabling massively parallel processing.

Qubits remain in stable quantum states for exceptional durations using this trapped ion approach. By incorporating high-fidelity quantum logic gates, IonQ systems can perform complex algorithms beyond classical machines.

In recent homologation testing, IonQ’s 32-qubit system achieved a state-of-the-art quantum volume of 64 – a performance benchmark reflecting computational power. IonQ’s modular architecture enables straightforward scaling by adding more ions.

With deep expertise honed over 25 years of pioneering trapped ion research at the University of Maryland and Duke University, IonQ’s co-founders are recognized leaders. Their technical innovations propel IonQ’s hardware advantage.

U.S. Quantum Leadership Relies on Public-Private Collaboration

Maintaining U.S. primacy as quantum technologies transform computing requires close coordination between government, research institutions and private innovators.

This expanded AFRL-IonQ partnership exemplifies the vast potential of such collaborations. IonQ’s cutting-edge quantum systems will supercharge AFRL’s mission-critical research and help secure the nation’s future.

With prescient federal investments and rapid commercial progress, the building blocks are falling into place for a thriving quantum ecosystem. However, sustaining focus and momentum remains imperative as global competition intensifies. IonQ’s hardware at the vanguard equips America to lead the quantum future.

Check out the IONQ stock price HERE.

Leave a Comment