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TQI’s Report Reveals Data Centers’ Use of Quantum Computing to Control Escalating Demand For Computation

Insider Brief

  • The need for high-performance computing is escalating, leading organizations to explore alternative computation methods and resources.
  • Quantum computing’s vast computational potential is attracting many data centers to consider the integration of quantum devices into their own classical computing and supercomputing offerings.
  • The Quantum Insider report “Quantum Data Centers,” available to TQI’s Intelligence Platform subscribers, looks at this emerging trend, focusing on the players, the benefits and the challenges of quantum-enhanced data centers.

We are entering a period of peak computation. As Sam Altman, OpenAI CEO said recently, “I think compute is going to be the currency of the future. I think it will be maybe the most precious commodity in the world.”

As the use of artificial intelligence spreads and the need for high-performance computing escalates across various sectors, organizations are exploring alternative computation methods and resources. Quantum computing, although still in its early stages, has garnered significant investment, reflecting its potential to outperform conventional computing frameworks.

Unlike traditional computers, which use bits as the basic unit of data, quantum computers rely on quantum bits or qubits, allowing them to process challenging tasks more efficiently.

Many experts believe that quantum computers will complement, not replace classical computers and classical supercomputers. In fact, data centers are leading the charge, increasingly exploring the addition of quantum computational capabilities to their centers as a way to manage this oncoming wildfire of computational demand.

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In The Quantum Insider report “Quantum Data Centers,” analysts look at this emerging trend, focusing on the players, the benefits and the challenges of quantum-enhanced data centers. The report provides a high-level overview of key themes and delves into data in the market.

Data Centers: The New Frontier for Quantum Deployment

The report shows that quantum technology, while promising, has yet to reach maturity. Current quantum computing paradigms are diverse, with each seeking to capitalize on quantum mechanics’ peculiar properties. However, a commercially viable “quantum advantage” remains elusive. Notwithstanding, over 300 enterprises are venturing into preliminary Proof of Concepts (POCs) and exploring potential use cases, indicative of the growing interest in this field.

Specialist data centers, traditionally the backbone of high-performance computing, are now the testing ground for integrating quantum computing. Although these deployments are still in the early stages and customized, major technology companies like Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and IBM are actively participating, along with dedicated quantum computing and innovative data center firms.

Quantum computing applications are varied and can be categorized broadly into research, commercial, and manufacturing sectors. Research centers focus on developing quantum hardware and include public R&D labs, universities, and corporate R&D facilities. Commercial centers cater to enterprise customers with hybrid quantum-classical solutions, while manufacturing centers are involved in the production of quantum hardware.

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Quantum hardware demands a highly controlled environment, necessitating specific adjustments for sound, temperature, humidity, and electromagnetic interference. Unlike classical servers, quantum machines require unique setups, including specialized cooling systems utilizing substances like liquid nitrogen and hydrogen-3, which pose logistical challenges.

Why Data Centers?

As the report shows, quantum computing entities partner with data centers for many reasons. First, these facilities are closer to achieving production-readiness compared to the limited access of manufacturer clouds, which are often constrained by time slots and queuing systems. Data centers already serving high-performance computing clients are also well-positioned to integrate quantum capabilities into their existing infrastructures.

Public clouds play a crucial role by enabling the exploration of new applications and use cases for quantum computing. These collaborations help quantum hardware manufacturers extend their reach in research, development, manufacturing, and commercialization while mitigating investment risks.

Despite the lack of full-scale commercial deployment, stakeholders are gearing up for when quantum computing achieves a definitive advantage, according to the report. The potential for quantum speed-ups could provide substantial benefits for specific high-demand applications, although not all algorithms may experience exponential improvements.

Data Center Models
The four main Data Center models for quantum computing involve different hosting setups and access methods. First, there are commercial data centers constructed and operated by quantum hardware manufacturers, with IBM being a notable example. Secondly, major cloud services like AWS and Azure, along with other data center operators such as OVHCloud, provide hybrid classical-quantum computing solutions. In the third model, some data center operators form partnerships with quantum computer manufacturers to offer co-location services, exemplified by the collaboration between OQC and Equinix, as well as OVHcloud and Quandela. Lastly, there are models where quantum manufacturers host both their hardware and cloud services, and scenarios where organizations manage the quantum computing hardware they own, such as the Cleveland Clinic.

The Economic Perspective

The costs associated with data center operations, especially those required for cryogenics in quantum technologies, may still outweigh the benefits offered by quantum computing for certain technologies. However, as scaling costs decrease and development accelerates, quantum computing may yet find its economic advantage, particularly in solving problems deemed intractable by classical computing standards.

The momentum to a robust quantum future is accelerating, but it’s still filled with challenges, the collaborative efforts of technology firms and data center operators are crucial in paving the way for this exciting new frontier.

The full report is available to all premium subscribers of The Quantum Insider’s Intelligence Platform. To learn how you can subscribe, click here.

If you are not a subscriber, please contact us to receive the report separately.

If you found this article to be informative, you can explore more current quantum news here, exclusives, interviews, and podcasts.

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Matt Swayne

With a several-decades long background in journalism and communications, Matt Swayne has worked as a science communicator for an R1 university for more than 12 years, specializing in translating high tech and deep tech for the general audience. He has served as a writer, editor and analyst at The Quantum Insider since its inception. In addition to his service as a science communicator, Matt also develops courses to improve the media and communications skills of scientists and has taught courses. [email protected]

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