Amazon launches Braket quantum computing service in general availability

Amazon today announced the general availability of Amazon Braket, a fully managed Amazon Web Services (AWS) product that provides a development environment for exploring and designing novel quantum algorithms. Customers can tap Braket to test and troubleshoot algorithms on simulated quantum computers running in the cloud to help verify their implementation, and then run those algorithms on quantum processors in systems from D-Wave, IonQ, and Rigetti.

In theory, quantum computing has the potential to solve problems beyond the reach of classical computers by harnessing the laws of quantum mechanics to build powerful information-processing tools. Scientific discoveries arising from it could transform energy storage, chemical engineering, drug discovery, financial portfolio optimization, machine learning, and more. But making advances in the field requires in-house expertise, access to quantum hardware, or a combination of both. It’s Amazon’s assertion that managed quantum infrastructure could help facilitate research and education in quantum technologies and accelerate breakthroughs in the future.

Using Jupyter notebooks and existing AWS services, Braket users can assess present and forthcoming capabilities including quantum annealing, ion trap devices, and superconducting chips. Amazon says partners were chosen “for their quantum technologies” and that both customers (like Boeing) and hardware providers can design quantum algorithms using the Braket developer toolkit. Alternatively, they can choose from a library of pre-built algorithms, and they’re given the choice to execute either low-level quantum circuits or fully managed hybrid algorithms and to select between software simulators running in AWS Elastic Cloud Compute and quantum hardware.

In addition to running quantum algorithms, customers can use Braket to run hybrid algorithms, which combine quantum and classical computing systems to overcome limitations inherent in today’s quantum technology. They’re also afforded access to Amazon’s Quantum Solutions Lab, which aims to connect users with quantum computing experts — including those from 1Qbit, Rahko, Rigetti, QC Ware, QSimulate, Xanadu, and Zapata — to identify ways to apply quantum computing inside their organizations.

Beyond Boeing, Amazon says that Volkswagen has tested Braket to gain “in-depth understanding of the meaningful use of quantum computing in a corporate environment.” Other early adopters include multinational power company Enel, biotechnology organization Amgen, the University of Waterloo’s Institute for Quantum Computing, quantum machine learning startup Rahko, Qu & Co, and the Fidelity Center for Applied Technology.

Amazon Braket is available today in US East (N. Virginia), US West (N. California), and US West (Oregon) AWS Regions, with more regions planned for the future.

Today’s announcement comes after Google made available to cloud customers its Bristlecone quantum processor, and after IBM began giving enterprise customers and research institutions remote access to its quantum machine. Last November, another rival — Microsoft — took the wraps off of Azure Quantum, a service that offers select partners access to three prototype quantum computers from IonQ, Honeywell, and QCI.

In a sign of its commitment to quantum computing research, last December, Amazon unveiled the AWS Center for Quantum Computing. The Caltech-based laboratory aims to “boost innovation in science and industry” by bringing together Amazon researchers and engineers with academic institutions to develop more powerful quantum computing hardware and identify novel quantum applications.

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