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Dell, IonQ pairing pushes hybrid classical-quantum computing forward

By Dan O'Shea posted 25 Nov 2021

While other big-name technology firms have been counting qubits in recent months, Dell Technologies has focused on a company line positioning quantum as an accelerant to conventional computing. 

The company has been exploring the areas where classical computing and quantum computing could meet up in hybrid platforms. To that end, Dell announced his week in a blog post that it has been working with IonQ to test a platform that leverages the Dell EMC PowerEdge R740xd server paired with IonQ’s simulation engine and quantum processing unit (QPU) to further the evolution to hybrid classical-quantum solutions.

“With the platform, classical and quantum simulation workloads can execute on-premises, while quantum workloads, such as modeling larger, more complex molecules for pharmacological development, can be executed remotely on IonQ QPUs,” wrote Ken Durazzo, vice president in the Office of the CTO Research Office at Dell. “Further, wait time for each quantum circuit execution is reduced significantly by IonQ’s reservation API.”

Coupling Dell’s classical infrastructure strength’s with IonQ’s quantum capabilities enables the QPU to solve more complex problems, and with better error correction. It allows IonQ to run their QPU at room temperature, positioning it to be deployed in established data centers without needing to plan for “exotic cooling,” Durazzo said. 

The pairing also shows that “quantum workloads can be developed with vQPUs running on Dell infrastructure and later, seamlessly migrated to be executed on IonQ’s remote QPU with minimal effort,” he stated, adding that IonQ’s reservation API enables quantum circuits executing from the Dell hybrid classical-quantum platform can be directly injected into IonQ’s remote QPU without needing to wait for job queues. 

Also, the work of Dell and IonQ using an on-premises infrastructure solution “may provide incremental cost efficiency and data privacy. As a result, organizations can train quantum programmers more efficiently and drive to a business-critical use case faster.”

This week’s announcement was the next natural step for Dell after the company announced in late September it developed a hybrid emulation platform using the PowerEdge R740xd and IBM’s Qiskit Runtime.

This hybrid area seems like it will be an increasingly important area of development, particularly for traditional classical computing players like Dell. Will Dell competitors like Lenovo and HP do the same? We haven’t heard too much from either of those companies on the quantum front within the last couple of years.

Categories: quantum computing

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