Cloud Offers Early Adopters Route to Quantum

Here are highlights of a panel discussion with OVH Cloud, Kuano, and the Cloud Industry Forum.

IoT World Today

April 17, 2024

3 Min Read
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This article originally appeared on IoT World Today.

Organizations wanting to explore quantum computing can plan their quantum approaches on classical computers so they are ready when commercial quantum computers become widely available. They also have the option of accessing both quantum emulators and real quantum computers via the cloud.

Cloud computing company OVHcloud recently hosted a discussion alongside the Cloud Industry Forum and Kuano, a biotech company exploring use cases for quantum computing, to showcase how companies can explore quantum.

OVHcloud quantum lead Fanny Bouton said quantum computers will never completely replace classical computers, but quantum computers promise to solve certain types of problems better, such as simulating new materials or optimizing routes.

“Often new technologies are seen as the silver bullet that will be the new wave of innovation and replace everything,” she said. “We need to understand the applications for quantum and go that a little bit deeper.”

Transitioning to Quantum

One company exploring use cases is Kuano, a drug discovery company that combines AI and quantum for the design of new small-molecule drugs. Senior quantum scientist Georg Schusteritsch said that Kuano is using quantum techniques to explore a type of molecule known as enzyme inhibitors.

Related:Your Cloud Strategy Is Now Your AI Strategy, Too

“We’re working on next-generation quantum algorithms that currently run on classical hardware but may eventually run on quantum hardware,” Schusteritsch said.

“We are already re-tuning this ready for the arrival of better quantum hardware. We work on things like automation so that we can attain high throughput using quantum chemistry methods that are already in line with quantum computing methods.

“For instance, one thing that we're concentrating on is quantum chemistry methods based on tensor network approaches. These map readily to quantum circuits, so the interface between them is very close.”

Bouton said managing this transition depends not just on quantum computers having sufficient processing power to solve complex calculations but also on identifying the use cases that demonstrate an advantage using quantum computers rather than traditional high-performance computing.

“When you have your use cases, for example, simulation or optimization, you need to develop new algorithms because you change the type of mathematics you use; it's linear mathematics,” she said.

“It's important to do that early there is a lack of talent. You need to train the team inside your company and find and recruit new talent that understands your business because quantum students won’t always know your company.”

The Role of Cloud in Quantum

Even when commercially available, quantum computers will be expensive and many will require special conditions such as ultra-low temperatures. According to Cloud Industry Forum CEO David Terrar, cloud access enables quantum technology to be accessed by researchers, developers and businesses worldwide without having to maintain their own quantum computer.

“There’s a scalability angle where resources in the in the cloud can scale up or scale down. You might not need many resources for a small-scale experiment but will need a bigger margin when you have a more complex computational model that you need to handle,” said Terrar.

He said cloud quantum also enables a collaborative approach to innovation where scientists, developers and experts from different disciplines can share data, algorithms and expertise.

“That's important in terms of accelerating the development of quantum algorithms and practical applications for quantum computing,” Terrar said.

“There's also an integration component where quantum computers aren't just standalone systems, and they'll always have some sort of conventional computing resources around them to handle the data, input and the output and setting up the problem.

“Cloud is a collaborative environment where developers can share and test things. Those are all the reasons why cloud and quantum go together. The big players like IBM, Amazon, Microsoft and Google are all providing quantum computing services already.”

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IoT World Today

IoT World Today, a sister site to DCK, connects IoT decision-makers and implementers, including those in the C-suite, IT and line-of-business managers. We inspire them by providing the latest news and analysis and case studies about technologies used in the Internet of Things, such as infrastructure, security, analytics and development tools. We capture the stories of IoT leaders imbuing intelligence across vertical industries. In addition, we are the exclusive content outlet for the IoT World trade show and conference series -- the world’s largest IoT events -- and feature advice and best practices from the subject matter experts who drive those events.

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