European supercomputers add quantum hybrids

European supercomputers add quantum hybrids

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Several European supercomputer centres are adding quantum computers as they upgrade to the GH200 Grace Hopper superchips.

Supercomputer centres in Germany and Poland are using the open-source Nvidia CUDA-Q platform with quantum processing units (QPUs) from IQM and ORCA..

Germany’s Jülich Supercomputing Centre (JSC) at Forschungszentrum Jülich is installing a QPU built by IQM Quantum Computers as a complement to its JUPITER supercomputer which uses the GH200 Grace Hopper chips

Poland’s Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center (PSNC) has recently installed two photonic QPUs, built by ORCA Computing, connected to a new supercomputer partition accelerated by NVIDIA Hopper.

The IQM QPU integrated with JUPITER will enable JSC researchers to develop quantum applications for chemical simulations and optimization problems as well as demonstrate how classical supercomputers can be accelerated by quantum computers. It is built with superconducting qubits, or electronic resonant circuits, that can be manufactured to behave as artificial atoms at low temperatures.

By tightly integrating quantum computers with supercomputers, CUDA-Q also enables quantum computing with AI to solve problems such as noisy qubits and develop efficient algorithms.

“Useful quantum computing will be enabled by the tight integration of quantum with GPU supercomputing,” said Tim Costa, director of quantum and HPC at Nvidia. “Nvidia’s quantum computing platform equips pioneers such as JSC and PSNC to push the boundaries of scientific discovery and advance the state of the art in quantum-integrated supercomputing.”

PSNC’s QPUs will enable researchers to explore biology, chemistry and machine learning with two PT-1 quantum photonics systems. The systems use single photons, or packets of light, at telecom frequencies as qubits. This allows for a distributed, scalable and modular quantum architecture using standard, off-the-shelf telecom components.

“Our collaboration with ORCA and Nvidia has allowed us to create a unique environment and build a new quantum-classical hybrid system at PSNC,” said Krzysztof Kurowski, CTO and deputy director of PSNC. “The open, easy integration and programming of multiple QPUs and GPUs efficiently managed by user-centric services is critical for developers and users. This close collaboration paves the way for a new generation of quantum-accelerated supercomputers for many innovative application areas, not tomorrow, but today.”

“Quantum computing is being brought closer by hybrid quantum-classical accelerated supercomputing,” said Kristel Michielsen, head of the quantum information processing group at JSC. “Through our ongoing collaboration with NVIDIA, JSC’s researchers will advance the fields of quantum computing as well as chemistry and material science.”

Other Grace Hopper-based supercomputers coming online include EXA1-HE in France from CEA and Eviden; Helios at Academic Computer Centre Cyfronet, in Poland, from Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE); Alps at the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre, from HPE; and Isambard AI in the UK.

The CEA EXA1-HE supercomputer is based on Eviden’s BullSequana XH3000 technology which uses a new patented warm-water cooling system that supports  477 compute nodes.

Isambard-AI phase one in Bristol consists of an HPE Cray EX2500 supercomputer with 168 NVIDIA GH200 Superchips. When the remaining 5,280 NVIDIA Grace Hopper Superchips arrive at the University of Bristol’s National Composites Centre this summer, it will increase performance by about 32x.


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