Amazon Enters the Quantum Computing Business

In a multi-pronged thrust, Amazon through its Amazon Web Services (AWS) division will be entering the quantum business via cloud services, research, and consulting services. The quantum computing cloud service is called Amazon Braket and provide access to quantum computers from D-Wave, IonQ, and Rigetti, with more to be added in the future. It will be a fully managed service that will include Amazon’s own development environment that will interface to these other systems. This could provide end users with the potential ability to use a common front end for programming their problem and then try it out on each of the three quantum computers. In addition, end users will also have access to AWS’s extensive classical computing capability for hybrid classical/quantum algorithms.

IonQ is an interesting partner because they also announced a similar arrangement with Microsoft last month. In addition, Amazon is an investor in IonQ through their venture capital group and IonQ’s CEO, Peter Chapman, was the Engineering Director at Amazon Prime before he joined IonQ last May. D-Wave and Rigetti also provide cloud services on their own, but certainly do not have the extensive customer base that AWS possesses.

The second thrust will be to establish the AWS Center for Quantum Computing which will be located at Caltech in Pasadena, California. At this center, researchers and engineers from Amazon, Caltech and other academic institutions will research the development of more powerful quantum computing hardware and work to identify novel quantum applications.

Finally, Amazon will establish a consulting capability called the Amazon Quantum Solutions Lab. The capability will include quantum computing experts from Amazon along with additional members of the Amazon Partner Network (APN) partners including initially 1Qbit, Rahko, Rigetti, QCWare, QSimulate, Xanadu, and Zapata. This lab that will provide hands-on educational workshops and help customers develop their own strategy for quantum computing, build internal expertise, and eventually deploy quantum applications.

For more information about these new efforts, you can view Amazon’s announcement press release, press releases from D-Wave, IonQ, and Rigetti, announcing their partnerships with Google, and you can visit the Amazon Braket web site. For those who already possess an AWS account number, they can apply here to be considered for acceptance into the Amazon Braket Preview program.

December 3, 2019

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