Ampere is a high performance classical microprocess company founded by a former President of Intel Corporation that develops cloud-native high-performance microprocessors. Their lead product is called the Altra Max which has up to 128 Arm v8.2 cores with up to 3.0 GHz frequency and supports 128 lanes of high speed PCIe Gen4 and 8×72 ECC protected DDR4 3200 memory. As readers of this website know, a major trend in the quantum industry is to combine the power of a quantum computer with a high-performance classical computer for use in hybrid quantum/classical algorithms such as QAOA and VQE. The companies have agreed to integrate the Rigetti QPU’s with the Ampere Altra Max to provide an optimized solution for hybrid cloud processor installations for machine learning and other applications. The companies have also agreed to optimize Rigetti’s quantum computer simulation software to run on Ampere Altra Max processors. This simulation software will allow a user who has created a quantum program to characterize and debug it on a high-performance classical computer before the user starts running it on a real quantum computer. Although the simulation may not handle a problem quite as large a problem that might ultimately run on the quantum computer, it is still helpful to run a cut down version of the problem that the classical computer can handle in order to test out the algorithms. Still, high-performance classical computing is very helpful for these simulations they do require a lot of classical processing power even when you a simulating a program with only a few dozen qubits. You can view a press release with this partnership announcement here.

February 16, 2022