UPDATED 17:00 EDT / DECEMBER 17 2020


AWS Braket powers simulators and hybrid systems to accelerate quantum computing

Quantum computing has the potential to solve computational problems that are beyond the reach of classical computers by harnessing the laws of quantum mechanics to process information in new ways. But like all early technology, significant practical challenges must be overcome before this large-scale impact is achievable.

While the technology is not yet widely accessible, researchers and developers can get started with it, explore and build quantum algorithms, and then test them on circuit simulators using Amazon Braket, a fully managed quantum computing service.

“The goal of Bracket is to fundamentally give customers the ability to go test some of those notions, to explore the technology and to just start planning for the future,” said Richard Moulds (pictured, left), general manager of Amazon Braket at Amazon Web Service Inc.

Moulds and Fernando Brandao (right), head of quantum algorithms at AWS and Bren Professor of theoretical physics at Caltech, spoke with John Furrier, host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio, during AWS re:Invent. They discussed the prospects for quantum computing, the problems that still need to be solved and how AWS Braket allows for the research and development of quantum algorithms. (* Disclosure below.)

Helping to develop the technology

Until recently, it was difficult for companies to get access to quantum computing because machines with the specific technology belonged mainly to startups or physics labs and universities, according to Moulds. But the interest in the solution is growing rapidly, so AWS decided to launch Braket to further develop the technology.

“It’s early, but it’s an exciting time to be doing quantum computing,” Brandao said. “And it’s very interesting to see the interest of industries growing and customers, for example, coming from AWS, willing to take part in this journey with us in the development of the technology.”

To make progress in quantum computing, AWS put together a team of experts to work to find new use cases and build more powerful quantum hardware. The AWS center for quantum computing is based on the California Institute of Technology.

“This comes from AWS’ belief that quantum computing is key, and so [it is necessary to] stay close to fresh ideas and to the latest scientific developments,” Brandao said. “And Caltech is a pioneer in quantum computing, so it was the ideal place for doing this.”

AWS announced new features for Braket during AWS re:Invent that were primarily focused on more powerful simulators and an easier way to use hybrid systems that incorporate classical computing with quantum machinery, according to Moulds.

“Right now, the machines are far from perfect, and the way we can try to squeeze as much value out of these devices today is to run them in tandem with classical systems,” Moulds explained. “We think of the notion of a self-learning quantum algorithm, where you use classic optimization techniques, such as we see with machine learning, to tweak and tune the parameters of a quantum algorithm to try to iterate and converge on the best answer and try to overcome some of these issues surrounding errors.”

Here’s the complete video interview, part of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of AWS re:Invent. (* Disclosure: Amazon Web Services sponsored this segment of theCUBE. Neither AWS nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

A message from John Furrier, co-founder of SiliconANGLE:

Your vote of support is important to us and it helps us keep the content FREE.

One-click below supports our mission to provide free, deep and relevant content.  

Join our community on YouTube

Join the community that includes more than 15,000 #CubeAlumni experts, including Amazon.com CEO Andy Jassy, Dell Technologies founder and CEO Michael Dell, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger and many more luminaries and experts.

“TheCUBE is an important partner to the industry. You guys really are a part of our events and we really appreciate you coming and I know people appreciate the content you create as well” – Andy Jassy