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First room-temperature quantum computer in supercomputing centre

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By Nick Flaherty


The world’s first room-temperature diamond-based quantum computer, developed in Germany, has been installed on-site in a supercomputing facility in Australia.

The installation at the Pawsey Supercomputing Research Centre uses a rack mounted quantum computer developed by German-Australian start-up Quantum Brilliance. This uses a synthetic diamond chip with nitrogen vacancies to provide the quantum processing.

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 This is the first integration of quantum computing systems in a supercomputing centre, and will be used to demonstrate and test hybrid models of quantum and classical computing by pairing the quantum accelerator with Setonix, Pawsey’s HPE Cray Ex supercomputer.

 “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,” said Mark Stickells, executive director at Pewsey. “Completing the installation of the quantum system was a priority once Covid-related border closures were lifted. 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 field trial demonstrates the significant value of HPC’s role in co-developing emerging quantum technologies to accelerate their breakthroughs in the engineering and productisation journey,” said Andrew Horsley, CEO of Quantum Brilliance. “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.”

 The project will now be used to develop 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.

 Pawsey, which supports over 4000 researchers on its infrastructure, will use the opportunity as a way to help researchers run algorithms and become quantum-ready.

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

quantumbrilliance.com; pawsey.org.au

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