The head of Amazon’s quantum computing product explains its master plan as it signs key partnerships to establish a foothold in the next big thing

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  • Amazon was relatively quiet about quantum computing until it announced the Amazon bracket in 2019.
  • Amazon Web Services has been ramping up its quantum computing partnership over the past few months.
  • Google, IBM, Microsoft and Intel have already invested in building their own quantum computers.

Over the past few months, Amazon Web Services has quietly but steadily signed new partnerships around quantum computing, with Israeli universities including the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Bar-Ilan University.

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In addition, AWS will offer cloud software from Quantum Computing Inc., which helps companies solve business problems using quantum computing, and it recently partnered with BMW to automate projects in the field. Quantum computing challenge to be started to crowdsource. Those moves show that the market-leading cloud titan is investing heavily in an area that experts believe presents the next great frontier in computing.

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But Amazon’s investment comes after years of being silent on Quantum, even as others like Microsoft, IBM, Intel and Google raced to get there first. That silence ended in 2019 when AWS announced its quantum computing service, Amazon Braket.

Amazon Bracket general manager Richard Molds says the company certainly kept its eye on quantum computing’s potential, but generally preferred to focus on the “here and now.” The bracket reflects its belief that the field is now ready for real investment, Molds said — and AWS has since worked with companies like Rigeti, IONQ, and D-Wave, and schools like Caltech, to help make it a reality. can get help.

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“There was this feeling that now is the time,” Molds said. “Different fronts are coming together. We have been researching and tracking this space for many years.”

Quantum computers are still in their early days, but they have the potential to solve complex problems such as finding the cheapest and fastest route, detecting fraud, drug discovery and stock market prediction. Molds says that while full capacity is years away, customers are asking about it right now.

AWS has a three-pronged approach to making that future a reality, Molds said: building cloud services that allow customers to explore quantum computing, providing customer support and consulting teams, and research to build quantum computing technologies. allows investment.

Quantum computing can be a “fragmented experience” because different companies take different approaches to building quantum computers, meaning customers must painstakingly learn the different tools, Molds said.

The bracket is not meant to show off a quantum computer technology, but to allow customers to experiment with different types in one place. Customers can choose the appropriate quantum hardware to emulate for their operations and run it on the cloud without touching the actual quantum computer.

“It’s very easy to focus on one technology,” Molds said. “No one knows how this industry will run. No one knows how the industry will develop.”

AWS eventually wants to build a quantum computer as well. It takes an approach called quantum error correction. In quantum computing, there is a lot of “noise” that gets in the way of solving problems, so this approach aims to reduce errors.

Robert Liskowski, CEO of Quantum Computing Inc., which has partnered with Amazon, believes that as a “mecca for cloud computing,” AWS is particularly well positioned to do well in this young market. is located from.

“It’s clearly a know-how, strategy to go to market,” Liskoski said.

Although, experts say that Amazon is in a really good position, it is too early to call the market a winner. “As there are no clear winners in the quantum computing space today, customers are still experimenting with quantum algorithms and where they can be best executed,” said Matt Bryce, research vice president at Gartner.

At the same time, Amazon’s move to Quantum shows it’s willing to invest in closing the gap with those it started out with.

“It’s felt like it’s moving towards reality,” said Brian Hopkins, Forrester’s vice president and principal analyst. “It’s not a reality yet, but they need to stay competitive with Google and Microsoft, which they have been around for much longer than that.”

Mold would likely agree with that sentiment.

“It’s still a research-intensive industry,” Molds said. “It’s just too far. There’s no shortcut.”

Got a Tip? Contact this reporter via email at [email protected], Signal at 646.376.6106, Telegram at @rosaliechan, or DM here on Twitter. @rosalichan17. (PR pitches by email only, please.) Other types of secure messaging available upon request.

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