- Aquila is a neutral atom quantum computer that can run 256 qubits.
- It is 158 million times faster than the fastest supercomputer.
- AWS is one of the largest cloud services in the world
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is going to host Aquila, a quantum computer (processor) in its special cloud server called Amazon Braket.
This is a first for quantum computing, where we will have access to the processor directly from the cloud. The company supplying the quantum computer is QuEra, and it has been working on a partnership with Amazon’s AWS for some time.
AWS and Amazon Braket
For some time, researchers have been working on quantum computing, which has developed alongside the science behind quantum processing units (QPUs).
Quantum computing researchers need a space where they can collaborate, share information, and start new projects. This capability is provided by AWS’ Amazon Braket quantum computing cloud service.
It maintains 200 services from data centers all over the world. The Services are offered to businesses that wish to manage websites, store data, process data and execute transactions. AWS can also process artificial intelligence routines and run Internet of Things systems.
The cloud, what you need to know
Cloud is also known as distributed computing. It is so called because the data is distributed over a number of remote computers, called servers. The internet hosts the servers and these servers are where the data is stored. The cloud can run software, store large amounts of data, run algorithms, and process all kinds of data, all on computers removed from the local computer (such as your computer, phone, or tablet).
AWS is one of the largest cloud services in the world. Amazon Braket is purpose-built to give researchers access to quantum datasets. Braket is in the cloud and hosts other quantum processors, as well as the unique Aquila quantum processor.
What is Aquila?
Aquila is the first accessible neutral atom quantum processor. Aquila is designed to solve mathematical problems known as Analog Hamiltonian Simulation (AHS).
Essentially, it can be any type of task, like running a network or working on a problem in high-energy physics, which can then be expressed as a specific mathematical object, called a Hamiltonian.
Sure it’s exhilarating, but the quantum computer can process this information almost instantaneously. An object, like an algorithm, can run concurrently with a separate task, all at much faster speeds than a traditional computer.
Where an ordinary computer chip uses bits, which act like tiny switches that can be in the on (1) or off (0) position, the bits in a quantum computer can be in what is called “overlay”. – where they are on and off, or somewhere in between, all at the same time.
Qubits can also take advantage of entanglement – when qubits have a relationship with each other that prevents them from acting independently. Quantum particles that are entangled share a state (like spin or electric charge) and this relationship continues even when the particles are physically far apart.
These bits of computer information are called qubits, and QuEra has developed a processor capable of running 256 qubits.
A Qubit is grown in the dark and cold
There are different ways to create a qubit.
One way to create a qubit is to manipulate the spin of individual electrons in certain materials, using microwaves, light and magnets. They can also be created using the energy levels of electrons in neutral atoms or ions as qubits. Using lasers, these can be “excited” to a higher energy level and assigned values based on their energy state. Other methods of generating qubits involve photons, time, or superconducting materials.
Only a few quantum processors have taken advantage of the many existing methods to develop a qubit.
In Aquila’s case, the Qubits are laser-grown in a vacuum chamber, which is isolated from outside forces and then cooled to temperatures that can approach absolute zero (-270 C). Sheltered from light and heat, the qubit rests on a computer chip, in the dark and cold.
When isolated and cooled, the qubit becomes a superconductor which, when scaled, lets electrons flow freely, behaves like a single atom, and then becomes subject to quantum mechanics.
Aquila is a 256-bit neutral atom quantum processor. According to AWS:
“The QuEra QPU works by trapping atoms with lasers, arranging them in programmable one- or two-dimensional arrangements, and inducing interatomic interactions via van der Waals forces. The qubit consists of the ground state of the atom and a highly excited state, known as a Rydberg state.”
“By exciting ground atoms to an excited state, the QuEra QPU is able to achieve a phenomenon known as Rydberg blocking, in which the quantum states of neighboring qubits are fixed by the state of a qubit of In addition, customers can dynamically tune driving field parameters, thereby controlling qubit states and their interactions.”
Aquila in the raw
The Aquila QPU is designed to handle optimization calculations. It just means qubits are used to help other devices become more efficient and streamlined.
How fast can a quantum computer run?
Quantum computers run 158 million times faster than the world’s fastest supercomputer, the Frontier supercomputer.
Frontier is a supercomputer maintained in the United States. Frontier is a Cray model computer housed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. It can run 1,200,000 petaflops per second. A petaflop is one billion million million (to the power of 10 to the power of 15) of floating point operations per second.
The quantum computer can accomplish in four minutes what would take some supercomputers 10,000 years. It’s fast math. This is what happens when you move at the level of electrons and atoms.
The QuEra and Amazon partnership
Amazon is committed to hosting the Aquila neutral atom quantum processor, in preparation for a wide range of future developments in the quantum computing industry. As part of the project, Amazon has focused on delivering better technology in an increasingly crowded tech space.
“AWS’s quantum computing strategy is centered on customer choice. With Aquila on Amazon Braket, we are providing even more choice for customers looking to explore different technologies by bringing neutral atom quantum computing capabilities to AWS for the first time,” said Richard Moulds, CEO of Amazon Braket.
“It is important to remember that there is a wide range of quantum computing technologies on the market. From our point of view, Amazon Braket is the best place to explore different approaches.
QuEra approaches the partnership with high hopes for robust use of its technology, said QuEra CEO Alex Keating. Interesting Engineering (IE) regarding the project.
“Launching Aquila on the Amazon Braket cloud is a major milestone for our business. It is now the first such machine that is available to be used by anyone. So it’s an exciting time for QuEra, but it’s also an important milestone for the tech industry in general,” he said.
“We already have a number of industrial use cases in mind and have been privately testing the technology to develop them. But now that Aquila is the first neutral atom quantum computer available to anyone, virtually any company can come up with additional use cases. , and find their own new ways to use the computing power of this machine to advance their own business. This is very exciting for us, and we are proud to be the first to make this possible.”
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