COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Sept. 27, 2023 – IonQ, a leading quantum computing company, has announced a groundbreaking collaboration with the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) to develop and deploy advanced quantum computing systems for research and application development in quantum networking. This partnership marks a significant step towards enhancing AFRL’s research mission and accelerating the advancement of quantum technologies in the United States.
IonQ’s expanded relationship with AFRL builds upon the success of their previous agreement, which granted AFRL access to IonQ’s trapped ion systems. The new deal will see the deployment of two barium-based trapped ion quantum computing systems at AFRL’s location in Rome, N.Y. These systems will enable AFRL to further explore the potential of quantum communications, networking, and computing.
“AFRL is leveraging trapped ion quantum systems to drive the growth of quantum technology in the United States. The collaboration with industry frontrunners like IonQ will bring about revolutionary technologies that maximize warfighters’ capabilities,” stated Michael Hayduk, Deputy Director of Air Force Research Laboratory, Information Directorate.
The recent partnership announcement aligns with the U.S. federal government’s increased support for quantum technology development, exemplified by the establishment of the National Quantum Initiative (NQI) in 2018. The NQI is a comprehensive interagency program that secured funding for quantum research and development, demonstrating the government’s commitment to leveraging quantum technologies in various sectors.
As IonQ’s quantum computing systems continue to advance towards the milestone of 64 algorithmic qubits, they are poised to usher in a new era of enterprise-grade quantum computing. IonQ CEO Peter Chapman emphasized the importance of this collaboration for advancing U.S. defense technologies, stating, “This agreement with AFRL will accelerate the progress of quantum communications, networking, and computing, ensuring that quantum computers play a pivotal role in our national computing stacks.”
The second quarter of 2023 has seen remarkable success for IonQ, with $28 million in bookings setting a new record for the company. Furthermore, IonQ recently signed a contract with QuantumBasel, based in Switzerland, to establish a European quantum data center. These developments further solidify IonQ’s position as a global leader in the quantum computing industry.
U.S. lawmakers also expressed their support for this partnership between IonQ and the Air Force. Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) commended the Air Force’s advancements in quantum technology, emphasizing the importance of maintaining national security and staying ahead in the field. Similarly, Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) highlighted the role of quantum computing in the future of the economy, global competitiveness, and national security, affirming the significance of investments in advanced technologies.
Q: What is the purpose of the partnership between IonQ and the Air Force Research Lab?
A: The partnership aims to deploy advanced quantum computing systems for research and application development in quantum networking.
Q: Where will the quantum computing systems be set up?
A: The systems will be delivered and set up at AFRL’s location in Rome, N.Y.
Q: How will this partnership advance U.S. defense technologies?
A: By accelerating the progress of quantum communications, networking, and computing, the partnership will ensure that quantum computers play a pivotal role in national computing stacks.