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Amazon Web Services brings quantum computing to the cloud

AWS announces a quantum experimenting service, a research lab and access to experts.

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NTT Research has a particular focus on optics for networking and quantum computing.

AWS wants to bring quantum computing into the cloud.

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Amazon Web Services has announced three quantum computing services that'll bring the super-futuristic supercomputing technology within reach of everyday folks, as reported Monday by CNET sister site ZDNet. During its annual AWS re:Invent conference, it unveiled Amazon Braket, the AWS Center for Quantum Computing and the Amazon Quantum Solutions Lab.

AWS noted in its announcement that it had joked 10 years ago about launching the Quantum Compute Cloud -- but now it's becoming a reality.

The Amazon Braket service will allow developers, researchers and scientists to experiment with quantum computers from providers like  D-Wave, IonQ and Rigetti. "You can build and test your circuits in a simulated environment and then run them on an actual quantum computer," AWS said. 

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The AWS Center for Quantum Computing is a new research center at the California Institute of Technology. The company is hoping researchers and scientists will use the center to make "scientific and technological breakthroughs," including the possibility of mass-producing quantum computers, which for now are dauntingly expensive and difficult to build and run. 

The Amazon Quantum Solutions Lab, meanwhile, will give AWS customers access to quantum experts from Amazon.

One potential use for quantum computing, which can simultaneously evaluate multiple possibilities, will likely be for physics and chemistry simulations that aren't possible with classical computers. They could also create new drugs and solar panels, help develop artificial intelligence systems and self-driving cars, and even manage investment portfolios.

Besides D-Wave, IonQ and Rigetti, tech giants Microsoft, Google, IBM, Intel and Honeywell are also working on quantum computing. IBM and Rigetti already offer cloud access to their quantum computers, while Google plans the same within a year.