AWS becomes involved in quantum networks

Launched by AWS, the AWS Center for Quantum Networking (CQN) quantum network research center will focus on communications hardware, software, and applications.

Amazon Web Services is taking a step forward in an under-explored area of ​​quantum computing: networking. “The AWS Center for Quantum Networking (CQN) will seek to address the scientific and technical challenges of building quantum networking hardware, software and applications,” said AWS. The center will expand on other quantum networking work led by AWS within the AWS Center for Quantum Computing, Amazon Quantum Solutions Lab and its Amazon Braket service. The latter offers a development environment for creating quantum algorithms, testing them on quantum circuit simulators and running them on various quantum hardware, including Rigetti and D-Wave computers.

In order to exploit the full potential of quantum computers, it is necessary to connect them to each other within a quantum network. “Although they do not attract as much interest as quantum computers, quantum networks have fascinating potential uses,” CQN researchers Denis Sukachev and Mihir Bhaskar said in a blog post. “For example, they allow global communications protected by the distribution of quantum keys with levels of confidentiality and security impossible to achieve with conventional encryption techniques,” the researchers wrote. “Quantum networks will also be able to deliver powerful and secure quantum servers in the cloud by connecting and amplifying the capabilities of individual quantum processors.”

Limitations to overcome

Quantum networks will use some technologies already implemented for modern optical communication, such as lasers, fibers and detectors. However, quantum networks rely on individual photons to carry data and not on powerful lasers capable of carrying data over channels of different wavelengths. This feature has drawbacks. “While single photons provide many unique properties to quantum networks, they also pose a major challenge because quantum mechanics prohibits their amplification, limiting the range of the network,” the researchers wrote in this blog post. “Furthermore, the weakness of individual photons complicates their interface with current quantum computer devices. This means that special new technologies, such as quantum repeaters and transducers, will have to be developed in order to implement global quantum networks,” the researchers explained.

In addition to AWS, quantum society continues to grow. It includes Cisco, Juniper, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Google, Baidu, Honeywell and Quantinuum. For its part, Cisco announced the preparation of a hybrid networking environment capable of supporting classical signals and other technologies that use photonics to transmit qubits from server to server. Cisco says that photonics, which uses light to transmit data and control various networking mechanisms, will also play an important role in most quantum environments. Some say the industry will not adopt quantum significantly for five to ten years, but interest is certainly there. Gartner predicts that nearly 40% of large companies will have quantum initiatives in place by 2025, and IDC estimates that the global quantum computer market will be worth $ 16.4 billion by 2027. According to IDC, these investments will result in waves of innovation and technological breakthroughs that will allow companies to use quantum computers for a diverse and ever-richer set of use cases, involving analysis of huge data sets, an exponential number of variables, and an inexhaustible number of possible outcomes.

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