Amazon Web Services joins Q-NEXT quantum center

Leading technology company to contribute to quantum communication research at Argonne-led center

Written by Leah Hesla

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has become a member of Q-NEXT, a quantum research center that is developing the science and technology for controlling and distributing quantum information.

Led by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, Q-NEXT not only furthers quantum R&D but is also helping create a quantum ecosystem by bringing together science organizations and commercial businesses to solve quantum technology challenges.

With AWS as a member, Q-NEXT now comprises 13 companies, 10 universities and three DOEnational laboratories.

“We are excited to join Q-NEXT so we can bring together quantum experts from AWS and other top academic institutions to collaborate on the research and development of new quantum technologies and build a national quantum community,” said Simone Severini, director of quantum computing at AWS.

AWS expanded into quantum computing in 2019 with the launch of Amazon Braket. The quantum computing service gives researchers access to different types of quantum hardware and circuit simulators for running and testing quantum applications.

In 2021, the company opened the AWS Center for Quantum Computing. Its goal is to accelerate the development of quantum computing hardware and applications based on superconducting qubits. (Qubits are the fundamental units of quantum information, analogous to the binary bit in traditional computing.)

The company also created the Amazon Quantum Solutions Lab to help customers with finding applications of quantum computing inside their organizations, as well as address customer problems that could be tackled through existing high performance computing solutions.

“AWS is investing in quantum technologies because we believe in the long-term promise of the field,” Severini said.

The field is known as quantum information science. In it, researchers manipulate the fundamental features of nature — at the level of the molecule or smaller — for practical use. The innovations are expected to be revolutionary. They could lead to impenetrable information networks and powerful computers that can solve today’s intractable problems. 

AWS will contribute fundamental research to the Q-NEXT community to advance the use of quantum technologies.

“We could not be more delighted that AWS has joined our collaboration,” said Q-NEXT Director David Awschalom, who is also an Argonne senior scientist, the Liew Family professor of molecular engineering and vice dean for research and infrastructure at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, and the director of the Chicago Quantum Exchange. ​“AWS has always been at the cutting edge of innovation. Now it is developing cloud quantum services, building a quantum computer, and applying quantum algorithms to real-world problems. Their engineering expertise and experience with tech consumers will be invaluable to Q-NEXT as we develop next-generation technologies that promise to improve our everyday lives.”

Read the full story on Argonne's website