Oxford Instruments Nanoscience and Rigetti complete quantum computing project

Edinburgh’s Quantum Software Lab collaborated on the project.
Oxford Instruments Nanoscience and Rigetti complete quantum computing project

Oxford Instruments Nanoscience and Rigetti Computing have successfully completed a project to build and operate one of the first quantum computers in the UK, funded by the UK government’s Quantum Technologies Challenge.

The announcement comes amidst resounding support for quantum and supercomputing by the British government, which recently supported Bristol's Isambard project in a bid to become a global leader in AI development. Eagerly anticipated applications of quantum computing include improved machine learning capabilities, aided financial modelling, enhancing weather forecasting and more sustainable car batteries.

While the system was running it was made available over the cloud to Rigetti's UK partners via Rigetti’s Quantum Cloud Services cloud computing platform. Rigetti was joined by Oxford Instruments, University of Edinburgh, Phasecraft, and Standard Chartered Bank to realise this project, which was funded by the UKRI. 

Edinburgh’s Quantum Software Lab developed new ways of testing quantum hardware and verifying the performance of quantum programs, and worked with Standard Chartered Bank to advance quantum machine learning applications for finance. Phasecraft used its deep knowledge of quantum algorithms and high-efficiency quantum software to harness the system for near-term applications in materials design and simulation.

The research conducted during this project has already been used for quantum application development. In January 2024, Rigetti announced that it was awarded an Innovate UK grant as part of the Feasibility Studies in Quantum Computing Applications competition with Standard Chartered, Imperial College London, and Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Rigetti CEO Dr. Subodh Kulkarni commented:

“Completing this project, with the end result being a useful 32-qubit quantum computer, is an exceptional achievement for all of the project partners. It takes a world-class team to build and deploy a quantum computer. The UK has become a world leader in quantum computing technologies, and we are excited to continue to contribute to its quantum computing capabilities. Additionally, Rigetti plans to leverage this experience to continue to develop our UK quantum computing leadership as we embark on deploying a 24-qubit Ankaa-class quantum computer at the NQCC’s Harwell campus.”

Matt Martin, Managing Director at Oxford Instruments NanoScience, said:

“It has been an honour to collaborate with our longstanding partner Rigetti on this project, which brought the company’s first UK-based quantum computer. The project was planned from the beginning to align with national strategic initiatives and is a fantastic step towards the commercial adoption of quantum computing in the UK. Our team learned a huge amount from this project, rising to every challenge. We have comfortably demonstrated both the reliability of the ProteoxLX and the proficiency of our service team.”

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