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  1. Hardware
December 20, 2022

QCI offers dedicated quantum computer subscription

The Quantum-as-a-Service offering will allow enterprise clients to access the machine whenever they need without waiting for access.

By Ryan Morrison

Quantum computing company QCI has launched a new subscription service, providing enterprise clients with dedicated, limitless access to one of its Dirac-1 quantum computers. It will also include access to algorithms designed to run on the hardware to solve real-world business problems.

The QCI Dirac-1 machine runs on photonics and operates at room temperature. The company says it can process 10,000 variables (Photo: QCI)
The QCI Dirac-1 machine runs on photonics and operates at room temperature. The company says it can process 10,000 variables. (Photo courtesy of QCI)

QCI says its entropy quantum computing system works to offset some of the noise found in today’s quantum computers which limits their usefulness for solving real-world problems. It does so using a method called “open quantum systems”.

In this approach, the quantum system is carefully coupled to an engineered environment, which helps to collapse the quantum state and represent a problem’s desired solution. The company says this approach has the potential to improve the accuracy and scalability of quantum computers.

The new subscription service will allow a company to buy access to a dedicated machine, meaning they no longer have to wait for time on a shared cloud platform or buy one outright.

“QCI recently unveiled the Dirac-1 at Quantum World Congress in Washington DC, where it was received with significant interest by both commercial and government attendees,” said Robert Liscouski, CEO of QCI.  “We had a number of conference attendees ask us when they could actually buy the EQC, which was extremely encouraging.”

He said the most common complaint they heard from quantum computer users was availability as businesses have to “either reserve a specific time block at great expense or queue with others for limited time availability”.

“Neither of these options allows an enterprise to solve problems at the speed of business,” Liscouski explained. “Our Dirac-1 dedicated subscription allows a customer to have exclusive access to their dedicated machine at any time.”

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QCI provides quantum-as-a-service

It isn’t clear how many qubits the system has but QCI says the photonics-based, room-temperature quantum computer is housed in its dedicated quantum solutions centre and that it can solve business problems with 10,000 variables.

“QCI is currently working with customers who are solving time-sensitive problems ranging from drone flight path optimisation to fraud detection in the banking sector,” stated Mike Keymer, QCI’s VP of quantum solutions.

“We expect that subscription-based access to our Dirac-1 systems will grow substantially as end users increasingly look to solve critical business problems using quantum technologies. We are looking for a significant increase in sales of our EQC subscriptions in 2023.”

An example of real-world use was its ability to solve the BMW sensor problem, which demands an optimal (lowest cost/maximum coverage) configuration of vehicle sensors for autonomous driving.

BMW and AWS launched a challenge to solve this problem in 2021 and in 2022, QCI applied its initial prototype to the problem, solving it with 3,854 variables and over 500 constraints and a 99.99% accuracy – in six minutes.

It isn’t clear how much the subscription costs but QCI described it as “competitive with levels offered by others in the marketplace” with the added value of offering “wider availability and more computational capacity.”

It comes with four tiers of subscription, an introductory rate with 10 hours on Diract-1 and 10 hours of quantum solutions support, rising to 40 dedicated hours per quarter for tier two on the Diract-1. The highest tier is an annual dedicated subscription where users will get unrestricted use of their own Diract-1 system with access to 10,000 variables.

Read more: Is quantum computing more dangerous than AI?

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