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IonQ Says ‘Forte’ Will Improve Quantum Performance With a Software-Configurable Dynamic Laser System

PRESS RELEASE — IonQ (NYSE: IONQ), an industry leader in quantum computing, announced IonQ Forte, its latest generation of quantum systems. The system features novel, cutting-edge optics technology that enables increased accuracy and further enhances IonQ’s industry leading system performance. Forte is expected to be initially available for select developers, partners, and researchers in 2022 and is expected to be available for broader customer access in 2023.

Forte is the latest evolution towards a “software-configurable quantum computer,” which is designed to allow the company to optimize the computing hardware for targeted user problems–ultimately, giving users customized algorithmic performance. The new system features acousto-optic deflector (AOD) technology, which allows IonQ to dynamically direct laser beams that drive quantum gates towards individual ions. The AOD is designed to minimize noise and overcome variations in ion position, improving fidelity in long chains of trapped ions, which is crucial for scaling quantum computers. In addition, key parameters, including qubit and gate configuration, can be tailored to user needs, creating a truly dynamic and flexible system.

Forte joins IonQ Aria as the company’s second system with capacity of up to 32 qubits, has AOD systems capable of addressing up to 40 individual ion qubits, and is currently configured to use 31 of them. With this technological leap, IonQ furthers its commitment to building ever more powerful quantum computers with an increasing number of algorithmic qubits, an application-oriented performance metric for quantum computers. The new announcement follows IonQ’s announcement of open-source access to native gates, which allows quantum application developers to explore software breakthroughs on top of IonQ hardware without having to choose from a set menu of gates.

“IonQ Forte is further proof that high-performance quantum computers can be designed and built so both qubit count and gate fidelity improve simultaneously. We expect that this will lead to quantum computers with increasing algorithmic qubit numbers that will enable the search for solutions to the most complex problems of our time,” said IonQ Chief Technology Officer, Jungsang Kim. “IonQ’s quantum systems, including Aria and Forte, are at the forefront of achieving practical utility. The most impactful quantum computing applications will come to light when leading innovators seeking new ways to tackle their formidable problems get to work with the best systems, and customize them for their unique needs. We can’t wait to get these systems in people’s hands.”

The launch of Forte represents IonQ’s latest effort to push quantum computing. In March, IonQ unveiled an industry-standard #AQ performance benchmark set to evaluate the usefulness of a quantum computer beyond the number of physical qubits. And in February, IonQ announced the development of the N-qubit Toffoli gate alongside Duke University, introducing a new way to operate on many connected qubits at once by leveraging multi-qubit communication. IonQ continues to make significant strides within its customer and partner base and executed well in Q1, delivering financial results and operational achievements that exceeded expectations. For more details, please refer to the company’s Q1 2022 financial results announced on May 16, 2022.

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