IonQ Acquires Entangled Networks and Locks in Quantum Network Technology Critical to Its Future Success

IonQ Acquires Entangled Networks and Locks in Quantum Network Technology Critical to Its Future Success

IonQ Acquires Entangled Networks and Locks in Quantum Network Technology Critical to Its Future Success

Today, IonQ announced the acquisition of the operating assets of Entangled Networks in Toronto, Canada. In addition to expanding its technology base, IonQ will also expand its global footprint when the Entangled Networks team joins new company IonQ Canada as part of the deal.

Entangled Networks and its multi-core technology fills an important need in IonQ’s future hardware strategy.

IonQ architecture

IonQ uses a trapped ion quantum computing architecture that is currently centered on linear arrays containing ion qubits. Lasers are used for cooling, creating quantum gates, and getting readouts.

Today, the qubits in IonQ systems are contained in a single chip called quantum processing units (QPUs). QPUs have multiple linear ion trapping areas with a capacity of about 100 qubits each. IonQ’s roadmap not only shows the number of qubits growing in each QPU, but it also originally planned to develop the technology needed to connect and network qubits between QPUs using photonic interconnects and optical network technology.

Now, rather than being developed by IonQ, technology acquired from Entangled Networks will perform the networking function that connects quantum processing functions. It will play an important role in helping IonQ achieve its ultimate architectural goal of fault-tolerant computations using entangled qubits spanning multiple QPUs scaled to millions of qubits.

The critical nature of networking for the future of IonQ became evident when the company unveiled a five-year roadmap in 2020. In one of my previous roadmap discussions with Dr. Jungsang Kim, co-founder and CTO of IonQ, said IonQ plans to pave the way to modularity by creating smaller, lighter, and cheaper QPUs that can be networked together to form a larger computer. “If you want to get to scalable quantum computers,” he said, “it has to be modular, whatever physical qubit architecture we’re using.” The roadmap calls for networking modularized QPUs using photonic links in a distributed computing setup.

The roadmap includes future development of multi-core QPUs using multiple compute areas capable of scaling to hundreds of physical qubits. The roadmap also plans to network multi-core QPUs with other QPUs to form much more powerful quantum machines.

What Entangled Networks brings to the table

Entangled Network’s MultiQopt product provides quantum circuit optimization for modular system architectures such as those being developed by IonQ. Interconnecting clusters of QPUs is not just about building a fiber network and connecting the devices together. Unlike classical clusters, the laws of quantum mechanics do not allow cloning quantum data, so the configuration must be managed with special hardware, algorithms and programming.

Entangled Networks multi-core technology and engineering team provides:

  • Hardware consisting of light collection system and network matrix switch
  • Software containing algorithm library, optimization controller and real-time network control
  • Network expertise

Peter Chapman, President and CEO of IonQ, summarized the impact of the Entangled Networks acquisition for me:

“With the acquisition of Entangled Networks today, IonQ takes a step closer to developing quantum networks capable of solving the most complex problems of today and tomorrow. While conventional supercomputer networks communicate between processors to divide workloads, the goal of our quantum network is to tangle qubits at scale, which can lead to larger and more powerful systems used for the calculation. Today, we are laying the foundation for future growth, scalability, and quantum adoption. »


Over the next few years, IonQ plans to integrate the acquired technology into its quantum computing architecture. Large-scale modular connectivity will provide connections between all qubits inside the system, located on any number of QPUs. The highly scalable architecture must be powerful enough to run complex large-scale quantum computing problems, regardless of the problem structure.

It should be noted that IonQ has the in-house capability to develop the technology needed to network QPUs. Over the past decade, Dr. Kim, IonQ co-founder and chief scientist Dr. Christopher Monroe, and others have studied the technology needed to network quantum computers using high-bandwidth connections. between QPU devices.

However, the acquisition of Entangled Networks was the best and most efficient alternative to continuing to develop this technology in-house. Not only did IonQ gain proven networking technology, but it also saved a large amount of development costs and exceeded its original roadmap timelines. IonQ now expects to demonstrate networking between two quantum computers this year.

Networking technology is critical to IonQ’s scaling goals and future success. Because the acquisition of Entangled Networks gives it the required expertise in quantum architecture, as well as software and hardware intellectual property, this is a brilliant move on IonQ’s part.

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Patrick Moorhead, Founder, CEO and Chief Analyst of Moor Insights & Strategy, is an investor in dMY Technology Group Inc. VI, Dreamium Labs, Groq, Luminar Technologies, MemryX and Movand

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