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ZDNet’s Buyer’s Guide to Quantum As a Service

By IQT News posted 06 May 2021

(ZDNet) ZDNet has selected five organizations — some commercial, some academic, and some which blend the two — which offer some kind of a quantum computing service that incorporates real QCs performing true quantum functions. The expectation is that customers will be able to subscribe to quantum services much the same way they do to cloud services today, whether that’s a first or at some eventual point in time.
ZDNet’s Scott Fulton chose five QaaS services that show signs of being influential and becoming the models for others as this market develops. These are services that, based partly upon who provides them but also upon the cleverness of their value propositions, we believe will shape the course of this emerging industry.

The five are:
Amazon Braket: Braket seems the most fitting prototype for the type of quantum computing service that could become commonplace, should QC essentially work the way we predict it should at present. It presumes its customer is a developer, and that this customer’s objective is to use development tools to devise a quantum circuit, which is a simulated device whose schematics follow the principles of quantum physics as we understand them.

QuTech Quantum Inspire: Quantum Inspire is an ongoing project by the Netherlands’ Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), collaborating with the Dutch research organization TNO, to prototype a network of QC systems that can be put to use for commercial and academic purposes. In a March 2020 white paper introducing the platform [PDF], TU Delft’s researchers explained that the intention of their system is to model not just the QC, but the entire computing economy that will make QaaS available and useful at some point.

D-Wave Leap / Leap2: D-Wave Systems, offers cloud-based access to its annealing systems, by way of Leap (whose premium service tier is called Leap2). Its ultimate objective is not so much to solve problems as to optimize or refine problem solving.
What are Leap and Leap2 for? If you’re a statistical researcher or mathematician, and you believe that algorithms are the most reliable ways to attain reliable probability measures, then there’s a very good argument that annealing can yield the most reliable estimates possible of uncertainty levels. There’s little plus-or-minus factor; you know how uncertain you are, and that can be a benefit.

Honeywell H0 / H1: The prospective customers of Honeywell quantum systems are the intended customers. The class of service is performance testing — essentially, taking the latest models out for a spin.The final price will be a matter of negotiation. For scheduling time on H0, the price you’ll pay is based on Honeywell’s determination of the size of the job you intend to run. That size is measured in “credits,” and you purchase credits in advance in increments of 1,000.

Strangeworks Quantumcomputing.com: Strangeworks has built a collaboration platform for quantum researchers, encouraging them to come together and share their work with each other — and the emerging community — under an open source license. The platform was launched with a QC simulator only, though its executives have plans to facilitate direct access to a working QC facility. In the meantime, the platform serves as a marketplace where participants may serve as vendors.

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