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While Google, Microsoft, IBM and others have made a lot of noise around their quantum computing efforts in recent months, AWS remained quiet. The company, after all, never had its own quantum research division. Today, though, AWS announced the launch of Braket (named after the common notation for quantum states), its own quantum computing service. It’s not building its own quantum computer, though. Instead, it’s partnering with D-Wave, IonQ and Rigetti and making their systems available through its cloud. In addition, it’s also launching the AWS Center for QuantumComputing and AWS QuantumSolutions
With Braket, developers can get started on building quantum algorithms and basic applications and then test them in simulations on AWS, as well as the quantum hardware from its partners. That’s a smart move on AWS’s part since it’s hedging its bets without incurring the cost of trying to build a quantum computer itself. And for its partners, AWS provides them with the kind of reach that would be hard to achieve otherwise. Developers and researchers, on the other hand, get access to all of these tools through a single interface, making it easier for them to figure out what works best for them.
“By collaborating with AWS, we will be able to deliver access to our systems to a much broader market and help accelerate the growth of this emerging industry,” said Chad Rigetti, founder and CEO of Rigetti Computing .
With its research center for quantum computing, Amazon is starting to do some long-term research as well, though. As is so often the case with AWS, though, I think the focus here is on making the technology accessible to developers more so than on doing basic research.