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WA supercomputing centre has first room-temperature, quantum computer installed onsite

Australia’s Pawsey Supercomputing Research Centre has installed Quantum Brilliances computer in Perth, Western Australia, kicking off a field trial of the room-temperature, diamond-based quantum ‘accelerator’.

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Wed, 01 Jun 2022
WA supercomputing centre has first room-temperature, quantum computer installed onsite
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Pawsey Supercomputing Research Centre has announced the installation of the world's first room-temperature diamond-based quantum computer located on-site in a supercomputing facility.

According to Pawsey's executive director Mark Stickells, the installation of Quantum Brilliance's quantum accelerator is a critical step and prime example of aligning with Australia's goals to accelerate quantum research and achieve real-world value.

"Completing the installation of the quantum system was a priority once COVID-related border closures were lifted," Stickells said.

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"The partnership between Pawsey and Quantum Brilliance will play a pivotal role in demonstrating how we can deliver classical-quantum compute power scale in a way never before seen in an HPC environment."

The rack-mounted diamond quantum "accelerator" leverages synthetic diamonds to run at room temperature in any environment.

Developed by German-Australian start-up Quantum Brilliance, the installation represents the first integration of quantum computing systems in a supercomputing centre. It is designed to be used in demonstrating and testing hybrid models of quantum and classical computing, by pairing the quantum accelerator with Setonix, Pawsey’s new state-of-the-art HPE Cray Ex supercomputer.

The field trial demonstrates the significant value of HPC’s role in co-developing emerging quantum technologies, according to Andrew Horsley, CEO of Quantum Brilliance, who notes this is set to accelerate breakthroughs in the engineering and productisation journey.

"The installation was a significant step for the company, which is looking to make quantum technology smaller, more flexible and able to operate anywhere," Horsley said.

"Our vision is to take quantum from mainframe to mainstream — running your mobile phone, your car, your work platforms, or anywhere close to the application where it is needed.

"This collaboration is our first step toward achieving this goal."

Pawsey, which supports over 4,000 researchers on its infrastructure, aims to use the opportunity as a way to help researchers run algorithms and become quantum-ready.

According to Stickells, the integration of the quantum accelerator into the HPC architecture is set to help researchers learn more about how the two systems can work in tandem.

"This will provide a testbed where real applications can be proved, so our researchers can do more effectively — enabling science and accelerating discovery," he said.

"We look forward to seeing enterprises and researchers utilising HPC as a hub to explore novel classical-quantum codes using Setonix and the quantum accelerator as a step towards the hybrid computing future."

The Pawsey and Quantum Brilliance partnership is demonstrating recommendations from Growing Australia’s Quantum Technology Industry, a roadmap by the CSIRO.

The project is set to contribute in developing a diagnostics and engineering solution for operating a quantum computer in an HPC environment, with the teams working to collect and improve maintenance data and cycles, demonstrate classical and quantum co-processing, and integrate the system with Setonix.

[Related: Aussie IT leaders: Web app proliferation increased attack vulnerability]

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