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Air Force Research Lab Gets IonQ Quantum Systems

IonQ also introduces new models of quantum computers

October 2, 2023

2 Min Read
Two U.S. Air Force F-35 aircraft flying against a blue sky
U.S. Air Force F-35 aircraft. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Yosselin Campos

Quantum computing hardware and software company IonQ is deploying two quantum computers to the U.S. Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) in a $25.5 million deal.

Under the agreement, IonQ will deploy two barium-based trapped ion quantum computing systems that the AFRL intends to use for quantum networking research and application development.

“AFRL is seeing incredible achievements on trapped ion quantum systems to enable and grow U.S. quantum technology, the innovation occurring on the frontlines by industry will bring revolutionary technologies to our warfighters,” said AFRL information directorate deputy director Michael Hayduk.

“I applaud the Air Force for its work to advance quantum technology and its applications as they relate to our national security,” said U.S. Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger. “Quantum computing is sure to be a game-changing field that will yield critically important technologies.

“We cannot afford to find ourselves behind China when it comes to the research and development efforts to enhance military capabilities on the battlefield. This partnership will leverage the Air Force’s resources and brightest minds to ensure the United States continues to make great strides in quantum technology and I was proud to help secure the necessary funding.”

Related:US Air Force to Test SandboxAQ Quantum Navigation on Aircraft

The deal comes one year after IonQ agreed to provide AFRL with access to the company’s trapped ion systems.

IonQ Launches New Quantum Computers

IonQ also released details of two new systems at Quantum World Congress this week, IonQ Forte Enterprise and IonQ Tempo. Both are rack-mounted products designed to enable businesses and government users to integrate quantum capabilities into their existing data centers.

IonQ Forte Enterprise provides 35 available qubits (#AQ 35), a metric that counts the number of algorithmically “useful” qubits in a quantum system. IonQ Tempo is an #AQ 64 enterprise-grade system developed for more demanding use cases targeting commercial advantage.

According to IonQ, a Tempo system would exceed what can be simulated with classical computers and GPUs and provide a computational space 536 million times larger than its IonQ Forte Enterprise model.

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