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March 5, 2018

Alibaba launches quantum computing power on public cloud

Alibaba joins the quantum computing bandwagon, by announcing its own quantum computer in the cloud.

By April Slattery

Alibaba is aiming to compete with IBM as it launches its own quantum powered computing services in its cloud.

The cloud company will be teaming up with the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) to unleash the quantum computer, which will run on a processer with 11 qubits of power.

Alibaba’s announcement will put its superconducting quantum computing cloud will rank in the top two most powerful computing services in the world, behind IBM.

Alibaba launches quantum computing power on public cloud

Alibaba hopes the technology will help trial and test for future quantum technology.

The announcement of its quantum computing development did not go into detail of the tools customers will use to interact with the system, just the way it will help users. However, Alibaba did reveal that its quantum cloud computer offers a variety of features, including enabling users to work at extreme temperate as low as -273 degrees Celsius.

Customers will be able to access the super quantum computing service to run or trial custom-built quantum algorithms and download results. This ability would enable customers to assess the performance of quantum processors and identify any potential technological barriers. By being able to understand these factors will allow further development of quantum technology.

Dr. Shi Yaoyun, Chief Quantum Technology Scientist at Alibaba Cloud, said: “By introducing quantum computing services on cloud, we make it easier for the teams to experiment with quantum applications in a real environment to better understand the property and performance of the hardware, as well as leading the way in developing quantum tools and software globally. The user experience offered on cloud will without doubt help us further enhance our platform.”

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Furthermore, the computer will allow users to also experiment with quantum applications in a ‘real environment’, to help them better understand the performance of the hardware.

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Alibaba and CAS set up a quantum computing laboratory to develop a cloud-based quantum cryptography method in July 2015, before IBM had launched its own quantum computer. Now, the Chinese cloud company aims to compete with IBM’s 20 qubit computer in the cloud world.

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