Amazon expands who can access its Braket quantum computing launch pad

14 Aug 2020

Image: © James Thew/

Amazon Web Services has given a full launch to Braket, its service that allows companies to design and use their own quantum computing algorithms.

While we may still be a long way from having quantum computers in every household, some of the largest tech companies are already releasing products allowing other companies, as well as researchers, to build quantum algorithms.

Unlike a traditional computer that uses binary ‘bits’, which can be either one or zero, a quantum computer uses quantum bits (qubits), which can be one, zero or both at the same time.

By harnessing qubits in a quantum computer, it could be possible to solve computational problems that are far beyond the reach of traditional computers, in areas such as energy storage, chemical engineering, drug discovery, financial portfolio optimisation and machine learning.

Now, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has given a full release of its own quantum product, Braket, eight months after its initial launch. The service will now be available in north Virginia, northern California and Oregon. A release in other AWS regions is planned in the future.

Braket operates as a cloud system for companies and researchers to test and troubleshoot quantum algorithms on simulated quantum computers running on computing resources in AWS to help verify their implementation.

In addition to running quantum algorithms, customers can also use Braket to run hybrid algorithms. When combining quantum and classical computing systems, AWS said, it can help overcome the limitations that are inherent in today’s quantum technology.

‘A catalyst for innovation’

“As we see quantum computing technologies make more meaningful progress, thousands of customers are asking for ways to experiment with quantum computers to explore the technology’s potential and contribute to its development,” said Bill Vass, vice-president for technology at AWS.

“The cloud will be the main way that customers access quantum computers and combine those systems with high-performance classical computing for certain types of computationally intensive research. Our goal for Amazon Braket is to be a catalyst for innovation across the quantum community, bringing together hardware and software developers, researchers and end users.”

One of its customers is Volkswagen. The car maker’s director for advanced technologies and IT strategy for the US, Florian Neukart, said: “For the first time, Amazon Braket makes it possible to address and use quantum computers of different service providers via a standardised programming interface.

“This offers considerable opportunities for accelerating development work and improving our quantum algorithms.”

Irish researchers recently made a major breakthrough in the quantum computing field that could take us one step closer to a more efficient quantum computer.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic