DARPA Taps Rigetti Computing to Support Quantum Tech Effort With NASA

Rigetti Computing has secured an $8.6M contract to help the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency support a quantum technology research and development effort.

The company said Thursday it will work under a collaboration between DARPA, NASA Quantum Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and the Universities Space Research Association to create a quantum-powered full-stack computing system.

The effort aims to help the national security community address scheduling complexities in supply chain management, network activities and other strategic operations.

Work will emphasize on the development of a superconducting quantum processor along with complementary software and algorithms. NASA and USRA will develop benchmarking methods for resulting hardware, and Rigetti will offer the Fab-1 facility for chip production work.

“We believe strongly in an integrated hardware and software approach, which is why we’re bringing together the scalable Rigetti chip architecture with the algorithm design and optimization techniques pioneered by the NASA-USRA team,” said Mandy Birch, senior vice president for engineering strategy at Rigetti.

The effort supports DARPA's Optimization with Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum, or ONISQ, program that aims to demonstrate the quantitative problem-solving ability of NISQ tools.

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