Amazon Cloud Technology Announces Official Opening of New Quantum Computing Center

Amazon Cloud Technology has established a new quantum computing center at the California Institute of Technology, aiming to build larger and more accurate quantum computers

Although quantum computers can solve problems that conventional computers cannot, they are very sensitive to small changes in the environment and are more prone to errors.


Amazon Cloud Technology Announces Official Opening of New Quantum Computing Center

Quantum computing promises to drive technological advances in medicine, manufacturing, material production, and more.

In order to accelerate the development of quantum computing technology and applications, Amazon Cloud Technology launched the Amazon Cloud Technology Quantum Computing Center in 2019. Amazon Cloud Technology has built a new quantum computing center at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), dedicated to building “fault-tolerant” quantum computers. Team members at the center will focus on developing more powerful quantum computing hardware and discovering new applications for quantum technology.

The Amazon Cloud Quantum Computing Center will address the following five challenges:

First: make more and better qubits

Traditional computers use bits (values ​​usually represented in code as 1 or 0) as the most basic unit of information. A bit can be anything with two different states. For example, lights that are turned on or off, or doors that are opened or closed. But quantum computers use quantum bits, or “qubits,” (usually elementary particles like electrons or photons) to perform calculations. Unlike bits, qubits can be manipulated to exist in quantum states called superpositions, which can be 1 and 0 at the same time, and all possible states in between. Combined with some of the other equally puzzling behaviors of qubits in quantum states, quantum computers can perform certain calculations more efficiently than any current or future conventional computer. The Amazon Cloud Quantum Computing Center team will use superconducting materials to build qubits, such as aluminum patterned into Electronic circuits on silicon-based chips. Getting more people to understand the technology to make these will hopefully scale up more qubits in a reproducible way.


Amazon Cloud Technology Announces Official Opening of New Quantum Computing Center

An Amazon Cloud Technologies quantum hardware engineer operates a dilution refrigeration machine. Dilution refrigerators could cool quantum processors to cooler temperatures than the outer space environment.

Second: reduce noise.

The ability of qubits to exist in quantum states gives quantum computers the potential to perform certain calculations more powerful than conventional computers. But keeping qubits that way is very challenging. Even the tiniest changes in the environment (called “noise” by quantum scientists), such as vibration or heat, can knock them out of superposition, causing them to lose information and become more error-prone. The key to building a successful quantum computer is to control these errors. Amazon Cloud Technology will reduce noise by improving materials, such as making superconductors one atomic layer at a time, to minimize defects.

Third: Develop larger quantum computers.

One of the most challenging aspects of building a quantum computer is how to scale it. To surpass what conventional computers can already achieve, they need to be much larger than current machines. Today’s quantum computers are “noisy” and prone to errors. The goal of quantum researchers is to scale from a handful of noisy qubits to machines with hundreds or even thousands of extremely low-noise qubits. The new Amazon Cloud Quantum Computing Center will work to continuously advance quantum research and development, including technologies needed to support larger quantum devices, such as cryogenic cooling systems that protect devices from thermal noise, and the construction of new forms of quantum Nanoscale fabrication tools needed for circuits.

Fourth: reduce the cost of error correction.

In addition to innovations in noise reduction, Amazon Cloud will also work on building error correction into quantum computing hardware, using redundant sets of physical qubits to form “logical” qubits that encode quantum information that can be used for detection and correct mistakes. Performing error correction in this way is often very expensive and resource-intensive because generating logical qubits requires a lot of physical hardware. Amazon Cloud Technologies is looking into implementing error correction in quantum hardware at a lower cost by designing more efficient methods.

Fifth: Speed ​​up the clock

Building a usable quantum computer requires more than just increasing the number of qubits. Another important metric is the computer’s clock speed, or the time it takes to execute a “quantum gate operation” accurately. (Quantum gates are essentially the building blocks of quantum circuits—models on which quantum computers perform calculations.) This is where superconducting qubits offer an advantage because they make it easier to speed up quantum gates. Amazon Cloud is trying to build better qubits, and the ultimate measure of that success is how much it can speed up clock speeds while reducing quantum gate errors.

Amazon Cloud Technology Quantum Computing Center


Amazon Cloud Technology Announces Official Opening of New Quantum Computing Center

Amazon Cloud Technology Quantum Computing Center at Caltech

The Amazon Cloud Technology Quantum Computing Center brings together quantum computing experts from Amazon, Caltech and other top academic research institutions. To support future quantum scientists, the center also provides scholarships and training opportunities for students and youth faculty.

The center’s ultimate goal is to build an entirely new type of computer: a fault-tolerant quantum machine.This kind of machine can surpass classical computing technology in computational precision, and at the same time, can solve complex problems at a scale large enough to have a huge impact on our lives and work.

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