The Importance of On-Premises Hybrid Classical-Quantum Computing

  • General

Quantum computation has the potential to accelerate simulation, optimization and machine learning algorithm use cases. Increasingly, customers tell us they want to consume data and execute classical workloads in private, on-premises environments due to compliance, policy and privacy issues. A cohesive way of exploring quantum computation is through an end-to-end hybrid classical-quantum solution utilizing virtual Quantum Processing Units (vQPUs) for simulation. Hybrid quantum-classical algorithms combine quantum computers with classical computers. They’re expected to power the first useful class of applications for quantum computing, whether in machine learning, optimization, quantum chemistry or other use cases. This, in turn, enables cost effective methods of discovering use cases, upskilling current team members to meet future needs and developing more complete solutions for customers.

Dell Technologies and IonQ recently worked together to test a hybrid classical-quantum platform that leverages our Dell EMC PowerEdge R740xd server paired with IonQ’s simulation engine and quantum processing unit (QPU) to better enable the journey to hybrid classical-quantum solutions. With the platform, classical and quantum simulation workloads can execute on-premises, while quantum workloads, such as modeling larger, more complex molecules for pharmacological development, can be executed remotely on IonQ QPUs. Further, wait time for each quantum circuit execution is reduced significantly by IonQ’s reservation API.

Coupling Dell Technologies’ strength in classical infrastructure with IonQ’s coherence time, gate fidelity and scale enables the QPU to solve more complex problems, allows for better error correction to reduce the time spent using the QPU to solve problems and allows IonQ to run their QPU at room temperature, enabling placement in established data centers without exotic cooling. These specific IonQ benefits, in turn, enable customers to evaluate what approach works best for them to start on their quantum journey.

The key takeaways from the testing include the following:

The Dell hybrid classical-quantum platform integrates seamlessly with IonQ quantum simulation and quantum processing units. Quantum workloads can be developed with vQPUs running on Dell infrastructure and later, seamlessly migrated to be executed on IonQ’s remote QPU with minimal effort.
With IonQ’s reservation API, each quantum circuit, executing from the Dell hybrid classical-quantum platform, does not need to wait for in job-queues and can be injected into IonQ’s remote QPU directly. This capability greatly improves performance to leverage real QPU hardware.
Leveraging the capability through an on-premises infrastructure solution may provide incremental cost efficiency and data privacy. As a result, organizations can train quantum programmers more efficiently and drive to a business-critical use case faster.

Our testing with IonQ demonstrates the power of an end-to-end hybrid classical-quantum solution. We’re finding as quantum hardware, algorithms and hardware continue to evolve, the need for classical infrastructure will accelerate and scale accordingly. This is just the beginning of classical infrastructure with QPUs, creating endless possibilities.

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