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Quantum, HPC become roommates with Pawsey’s Quantum Brilliance deployment

By Dan O'Shea posted 01 Jun 2022

Australia’s Pawsey Supercomputing Research Centre and Quantum Brilliance announced what they claim is the world’s first room-temperature diamond-based quantum computer located on-site in a supercomputing facility.

The machine was described as a “rack-mounted diamond quantum accelerator” that uses synthetic diamonds to run at room temperature in any environment, eschewing the typically massive cooling systems that are one of the reasons why physical quantum computing systems are so… massive.

“It is not only smaller, but also due to its operation at room temperature doesn’t need any complex, space and energy consuming infrastructure,” said Mark Mattingley-Scott, Managing Director EMEA for Quantum Brilliance, in an email to IQT News. “We are talking about a technology which will democratize Quantum Computing.

A smaller unit operating at room-temperature will allows researchers to get a better understanding than they have had up to now about how a quantum accelerator can operate integrated with and connected to a supercomputer–in this case Setonix, Pawsey’s new state-of-the-art HPE Cray Ex supercomputer–in the same physical space.

Pawsey plans to leverage the close pairing by demonstrating and testing hybrid models of quantum and classical computing.

“Connectivity at the physical level is through a power cord and an ethernet cable,” Mattingley-Scott said. “Nothing more than that. The next level – the programmatic and data integration – is the work that Pawsey is now going to be spearheading. The main capability this gives Pawsey compared to accessing qubits via the cloud, or remotely, is to undertake a detailed investigation of what it actually means to incorporate quantum computing together with classical computing at the physical location where the performance benefit will happen in a massively parallel deployment model – in the compute rack.”

He also said the integration at the Pawsey site “will be key” , and enable the next step in the process of moving to ubiquitous quantum computing. Learning how to scale and integrate is a pre-requisite for all subsequent steps – and through this work and the work that QB is doing we are getting ready for the next steps as well.

Pawsey’s Executive Director Mark Stickells said in a statement, “This will provide a testbed where real applications can be proved, so our researchers can do more effectively — enabling science and accelerating discovery. We look forward to seeing enterprises and researchers utilising HPC [high-performance computing] as a hub to explore novel classical/quantum codes using Setonix and the quantum accelerator as a step towards the hybrid computing future.”

The project will now be used to develop a diagnostics and engineering solution for operating a quantum computer in an HPC environment, with the teams working to collect and improve maintenance data and cycles, demonstrate classical and quantum co-processing, and integrate the system with Setonix, the companies said.

Pawsey, which supports over 4000 researchers on its infrastructure, will use the opportunity as a way to help researchers run algorithms and become quantum-ready.

Mattingley-Scott said, “This capability will be key and enable the next step in the process of moving to ubiquitous quantum computing. Learning how to scale and integrate is a pre-requisite for all subsequent steps – and through this work and the work that QB is doing we are getting ready for the next steps as well.”

Dan O’Shea has covered telecommunications and related topics including semiconductors, sensors, retail systems, digital payments and quantum computing/technology for over 25 years.

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