In the last couple of months, there was quite a buzz around quantum computing efforts by manufacturers including Google, Microsoft, and IBM among others. AWS not having a quantum research division decided to stay quiet, until now. AWS today announced the preview launch of its own quantum computing service Braket, named after the common notation for quantum states.
The announcement doesn’t mean we can expect quantum computers from the company. Instead, it is partnering with D-Wave, lonQ, and Rigetti and will make their systems available through its cloud. AWS also launched the AWS Center for Quantum Computing and AWS Quantum Solutions Lab.
With Bracket, developers will be able to build quantum algorithms and basic applications and then test them in simulations on AWS as well as the quantum hardware provided by its partners. This is smart business, as it’s hedging its bets without incurring the cost of building a quantum computer itself. The company on its behalf will be providing its partners the kind of reach that would be hard otherwise. Ultimately, it will benefit developers the most with access to all these tools under a single interface.
“By collaborating with AWS, we will be able to deliver access to our systems to a much broader market and help accelerate the growth of this emerging industry,” Chad Rigetti, founder and CEO of Rigetti Computing said in a statement.
D-Wave also released a similar statement. “D-Wave’s quantum systems and our Leap cloud environment were both purpose-built to make practical application development a reality today and, in turn, fuel real-world business advantage for our customers,” says Alan Baratz, D-Wave’s Chief Product Officer and EVP of R&D. “Amazon’s Braket will open the door to more smart developers who will build the quantum future, and the forward-thinking executives who will transform industries.”
Bracket provides developers to explore their algorithms with a standard, fully managed Jupyter notebook environment. The company clarified that it will be offering plenty of pre-installed developer tools, sample algorithms and tutorials to help new users get start will both hybrid and classical algorithms. However, AWS is not installing these quantum computers in its own data centers and instead of offering a unified way to access the machines.
The AWS Solutions Lab will be providing researchers with a solution for collaborating around this new technology. “Amazon Quantum Solutions Lab engagements are collaborative research programs that allow you to work with leading experts in quantum computing, machine learning, and high-performance computing. The programs help you research and identify the most promising applications of quantum computing for your business and get quantum ready,” the company explains.
Now that it got its own research center for quantum computing, Amazon is focusing on long-term research as well. But in the case of AWS, it looks like the focus here is on making the technology accessible to developers more than basic research.
“We believe that quantum computing will be a cloud-first technology and that the cloud will be the main way customers access the hardware,” Charlie Bell, senior vice president, Utility Computing Services, AWS said. “With our Amazon Braket service and Amazon Quantum Solutions Lab, we’re making it easier for customers to gain experience using quantum computers and to work with experts from AWS and our partners to figure out how they can benefit from the technology. And with our AWS Center for Quantum Computing and academic partnerships, we join the effort across the scientific and industrial communities to help accelerate the promise of quantum computing.”
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