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What is Quantum Computing -as -a -service?

  • Vanshika Kaushik
  • Oct 07, 2021
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Quantum computing has always been hailed as an “illusionary concept”, though the world was always waiting for the “quantum magic” to unveil, there were slight chances that this concept will become a reality before 2040!!


Long time right, fast forward to the present times, the once non-existent concept has turned real in the modern era. Quantum computers, yes the next big revolutionary thing are now available as a service too. 


In simple words that means now quantum computers will be available on “business demand” like other services. Sounds intriguing right, you might have already imagined solving mysteries of the universe on your very own “quantum computer” but it isn’t that simple though Quantum Computers are now available as a service getting access to it, is not as easy as it may sound!


Now you must have been wondering what actually Quantum Computing -as -a-service (QCaaS) is so let’s explore the meaning of QCaaS but well first let’s understand the basics of quantum computing.



What is a Quantum Computer?


Classical Computers use 0 and 1 for storing data. Binary language follows a simple rule, it will either store the processed information as 0 or as 1. These computers can no way use both 0 and 1 together at the same time. It's either 0 or 1 and basically that’s where the real problem begins.


As classical computers can use only two binary digits, it is practically impossible for them to solve complex mathematical problems. Well that means they can’t aid humans in drug discovery, scientific research and accurate weather forecasting. But Quantum Computers can do all that and more.


In quantum computing almost everything is based on complex numbers. Quantum computers use qubits for storing data (what bits are to classical computers qubits are to quantum computers). Qubits can be both 0 and 1 at the same time.


Qubits can be 0000001, 00001, and 10000. Any combination of 0 and 1 can be qubit (and the best part 0 and 1 can be stored together in a quantum computer). Storing a combination of 0 and 1 means a simplified code. 


In the world of quantum computing, almost everything is possible. The biggest calculations are just a mere seconds away from their actual solutions, when solved via a quantum computer. It uses entanglement (entanglement means change in the state of one qubit is directly proportional to change in the state of other qubits) for solving “complex level” problems. 


It has 300 qubits. It groups together multiple problems and solves them at the same time. Quantum computers hold massive potential for the future. They can be used in weather forecasting, they can accelerate the drug discovery process, their use cases can be explored in financial markets. 


(Must Check: What is Quantum Computing? Working & Requirement)


A combination of Quantum Computers and Artificial Intelligence, will practically rule the future. Listen to this podcast to know more about Quantum Computers. 


As now we have cleared the basics, let us move ahead with Quantum Computing as a Service. 



Quantum Computing- as- a -Service


As the potential use cases of quantum computing is immense, various industries want to leverage the advantages of this technology. And that’s how the idea of Quantum Computing as a Service came to fruition. 


QCaaS means providing on demand services of quantum computers. In other words QCaaS is a cloud service that provides customers access to quantum computing platforms through the internet. 


QCaaS is similar to Software -as- a -Service, the only difference between the duo is QCaaS provides access to quantum services via cloud and SaaS provides access to software services (distributed software), via cloud. 


Companies provide access to lesser qubit quantum computers as a service model. The most simple quantum computing model provides a way to develop an understanding of the working system of a quantum computer. 


This service is extremely helpful for researchers as they get access to lesser qubit quantum computers via the cloud infrastructure. Providing quantum computing as a service also means extending its use cases. 


As the service will be available via the “cloud infrastructure”, several businesses will get access to quantum computing services. 



Advantages of Quantum Computing as a Service


  • The cloud based QCaaS service model will be helpful in building software stack. 


  •  Every business team present on the network (marketing, sales, research, data analysis) can make use of the QC services in its own way. The Quantum Computing service will be connected to distributed computing i.e. every computer on the distributed network will become a part of the “quantum framework”.


  • QCaaS model will provide high speed, and secure business operations. Speedy operations means better business growth.


  • Quantum annealing processors will be deployed operationally in enterprises. It can be used for data optimization and data analysis, design verification, object recognition, and pattern recognition.



QCaaS (Quantum Computing as a Service Model in Business)


QCaaS can be thought of as a single application for multiple business functions. The hardware (quantum computer), will be located remotely. Remotely located hardware will be connected to the hybrid computing engine, for solving business problems. 


The Quantum Computing services will reduce the processing time, it will accelerate the decision making process within the enterprise. It will solve a large number of optimization problems, and at present quantum computers can be used to build distribution functions.


QCaaS is advantageous for businesses in the blockchain era, it will provide access to a zillion cryptographic techniques. For the companies focusing on research quantum is the way to future. 


For the companies focusing on drug discovery the QCaaS model is the right fit, it will increase the accuracy of computer based tools. 


Further computer based tools can be used in the prediction of molecular activity. Advanced tools can also help in solving protein problems. The QCaaS model can also be used in financial markets for predicting change in stock values. 



Companies providing Quantum Computing Services


  1. Honeywell:- Honeywell is the leading maker of Quantum Computers, the company has  introduced quantum computing as a service model.


Service model comes with an active subscription option, each subscriber who has taken the subscription will get eight/ sixteen hours to run algorithms on Honeywell’s Quantum Computer. 


Users can choose standard or premium subscription depending upon their needs. Honeywell’s quantum computers will make use of the trapped ion approach. Its model with 10 qubits is available as a service. 

This image describes Quantum computer by Honeywell

                                   Honeywell quantum computer available for service

  1. Amazon:- Amazon Braket is the quantum computing service by Amazon. Amazon Braket can accelerate the research in the field of quantum computing. This fully managed quantum computing service will provide a boost to software developments in the field of quantum computing.  


Amazon Bracket can be used for testing algorithms on a local simulator, Amazon Braket Software Kit (SDK) can be used for building quantum applications. Amazon Bracket can also be used for running algorithms on quantum computers. 


Post running the algorithms can be analyzed for performance evaluations. Watch the video to learn more about Amazon Bracket.

  1. IBM:- IBM provides IBM quantum services, these services provide access to IBM’s advanced quantum computers and simulators. IBM’s services can be employed for running programs and algorithms on quantum computers. 


These services are a combination of quantum processors with cryogenic components, control electronics and classical computing technology.


 IBM’s quantum systems are unique; they return back quantum properties, the quantum properties describe in detail the characteristics of algorithms.  IBM also provides a quantum development toolkit “qiskit” for building and deploying applications. 


The Quantum tools can further be used for building and executing quantum computing circuits.


4.Google:- Google’s quantum computing service, provides researchers the access of Google’s Quantum Computing hardware. Researchers can run their quantum programs on Google’s quantum processors. 


At present Cirq, an open source quantum computing platform is available for building and testing algorithms. Google also provides open access to several libraries like open fermion, tensor flow quantum, and qsim. 


(Related Blog: What does Googles’ Quantum Supremacy describes?)


These libraries can be used for experimenting with machine learning models. Google’s Alpine Quantum Technologies provides trapped ion quantum devices, it can be used for quantum research.



Last Note


“The disruptive potential of quantum technology will make the change of the Internet era look like a small bump in the road!”

― Kevin Coleman


The general availability of QCaaS (Quantum Computing -as-a-Service) is a win-win situation for both companies and individuals. While it will open new avenues in the field of research, it will also enable the world to understand that quantum computing is a real concept, in the future classical computers and supercomputers will stand no way close to the supremacy of Quantum Computers.

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