Quantum computing startup Rigetti lays off 28% of its staff

Quantum computing startup Rigetti lays off 28% of its staff

Quantum computing startup Rigetti lays off 28% of its staff

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Rigetti Computing, one of several quantum computing startups competing with bigger players like IBM and Google, said on Friday it was cutting 28% of its staff to focus on delivering and improving a new machine as soon as possible.

The company, which replaced founding chief executive Chat Rigetti last year, has also named a new chief technology officer, David Rivas, and a new chief financial officer, Jeffrey Bertelsen.

The company’s near-term priority will be to complete its 84-qubit machine, called Ankaa, this quarter, followed by improvements to its computing reliability and. Maintaining long sequences of calculations is a major challenge for all quantum computers because their fundamental data processing elements, called qubits, are easily disrupted.

Eventually, Rigetti plans to consolidate four Ankaa machines into a larger system called Lyra. The company’s previous roadmap called for Lyra to emerge in late 2023, but Rigetti didn’t detail any timelines as part of its new plan.

“We believe these actions put Rigetti in a better position to deliver on the promise of quantum computing and are aligned with refocusing the company on more near-term priorities,” incoming CEO Subodh Kulkarni said in a statement. .

Quantum computing could revolutionize the industry, tackling problems beyond the reach of the conventional designs we use today in everything from mainframes to smartwatches. This could include developing new materials that improve solar panels and electric car batteries, researching new drugs, and delivering more efficient packages. But realizing this progress will take years of advances in quantum computing.

Rigetti and rivals IonQ and D-Wave Systems have all gone public with a process called a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, raising $262 million in Rigetti’s case. The process was popular as being simpler than the traditional initial public offering (IPO), but its popularity waned.

Rigetti risks being delisted from the Nasdaq market if its stock price does not stay above $1 for 10 days by July 24, a goal it could reach within days. On Monday, its stock fell 2 cents to $1.17.


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