Amazon Braket’s Moulds sees ongoing need for quantum computing via cloud
Cloud-based quantum computing services that allow users access to quantum systems without having to empty their bank accounts still reign as the best way for early users to test and become familiar with quantum computers. But, as more research institutions, governments, and eventually corporate enterprises prepare to buy their own quantum computers, will there still be a need for these cloud services?
Richard Moulds, general manager of Amazon Braket, recently told IQT News that even as the cost of buying a quantum computer comes down, the investment required to get started and the ongoing need to maintain, manage, and upgrade that system won’t be for everyone. For these reasons, he believes quantum computing via the cloud is likely to follow the path of cloud computing in general, in that there will be a need as companies look for ways to improve efficiency and achieve greater scalability, while at the same time looking to remove cost from their IT structures.
“The reason why you move to a cloud data center is all about efficiency. It’s about ‘Does it make sense for me to operate a huge pile of servers myself, or does it make sense for me to participate in a shared infrastructure?’ That [shared infrastructure] is efficient, and it allows me to scale,” Moulds said. “Elasticity, reliability, security–all the reasons why you use the cloud today will all be just as important for quantum computing. In that sense quantum computing is not special… It’s just a different type of computer.”
He added, that quantum computing via the cloud will remain especially important in an era where there continue to be many different types of processors from different vendors and based on different technologies–superconducting, neutral-atoms, cold-atom, trapped ions, photonics, etc.
“Buying your own machine doesn’t really make sense because these machines are all very different,” Moulds said. “Nobody knows which one or two or three is going to prevail in the future… so, a service that gives you easy access to a variety of technologies, I think makes a lot of sense.”
Amazon Web Services and other hyperscale cloud companies offer global scalable and elastic infrastructures that most companies can’t match, and quantum computing could become another aspect of these infrastructures that clients will seek to leverage to handle their computing workloads, he observed.
“It’s simplistic to think of quantum computing as devices in isolation,” Moulds said. “You wouldn’t think of GPUs in isolation, so you shouldn’t think of QPUs in isolation. They’re part of a broader compute fabric.”
Dan O’Shea has covered telecommunications and related topics including semiconductors, sensors, retail systems, digital payments and quantum computing/technology for over 25 years.