Amazon expands its quantum efforts with a focus on networks – TechCrunch

Amazon today announced another attempt at bringing quantum computing to its cloud — at least in the long run. The company today launched the AWS Center for Quantum Computing, a new research effort that aims to advance the science and engineering of networking quantum computers together, both to build more powerful multiprocessor networks for computation and to create secure quantum communication networks.

In recent years, Amazon and its AWS cloud computing unit have made some major investments in quantum computing. Of Amazon Braket, the company provides developers with access to quantum computers from IonQ, Oxford Quantum Circuits, Rigetti and D-Wave, as well as other software tools and simulators. In addition, the company is already conducting two other research-oriented efforts: the AWS Center for Quantum Computing in Pasadena, California, which focuses on basic science like building better qubits and error correction algorithms, and the Amazon Quantum Solutions Labwith an emphasis on helping enterprises prepare for the future of quantum computing.

In short, while Braket and the Quantum Solutions Lab focus on short-term practical solutions, the Center for Quantum Computing and now the Center for Quantum Networking focus on long-term research efforts.

“To unleash the full potential of quantum devices, they must be connected together to form a quantum network similar to the way today’s devices are connected via the internet,” the company explains in today’s announcement. “Even though they don’t get the same level of attention as quantum computer, quantum networks have fascinating potential applications. One is enabling global communications protected by: quantum key distribution with levels of privacy and security that are not achievable with conventional encryption techniques. Quantum networks also provide powerful and secure cloud quantum servers by connecting to each other and exploring the capabilities of individual quantum processors.”

As of now, most research efforts around quantum networks have been at the level of startup-funded research labs. Most of the commercial endeavors in quantum computing have been at the processor level (and the ecosystem around it), so it’s definitely a novelty for Amazon to focus on that now, but now might be the time to focus on this aspect of quantum computing, especially given that quantum processing units are now beginning to reach a level of maturity that would have been considered science fiction just a decade or two ago.

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