Google has poured much time and money into one of its most ambitious dreams of the modern technology – to build a working-class quantum computer. At now, it begins to think of methods of turning it into a profitable business.
In recent months, Google started to allow its science labs as well as AI researchers the access to its quantum computing through the Internet. This is information saying that the purpose of this is to spur the development of quantum computer tools and applications, and eventually turn quantum computing into a quicker and more powerful cloud-computing service.
Hostucan.com obtained a Google PPT slide, which shows some details of its quantum hardware, including a new lab called “Embryonic quantum data center”. There is another slide showing the relative information about “ProjectQ”. As an open source project, ProhectQ aims at enabling developers to code for quantum computers. “Google is very open on creating quantum hardware. One day in the future, Google will call it cloud service,” according to Peter McMahon, a researcher of this of this program at Stanford University.
Quantum computing systems push atoms and other tiny particles to work for solving the problems that traditional computers can’t. By far, quantum computing technology is in the phase of long-term research, and its functionality is hotly argued. Even so, Google’s early efforts to make it commercialize and IBM’s similar actions both bring the fast-growing cloud market into another phase of completion.
Scientist Jonathan DuBois at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory said, Google employees have been very clear about the plans to open its quantum devices via cloud services, and also guaranteed that government as well as academic researchers could access these devices free od charge. Up till now, Google spokesman haven’t any comment on this.
By offering early and free access to dedicated devices to arouse interest, this is corresponding with Google’s long-term strategy of cloud business expansion. In May of the year, Google launched a chip named “Cloud TPU”, which is a paid service to be leased to Google’s cloud customers. Besides, Google also picked out some academic researchers to have a free trial on its “Cloud TPU”.
The conception of quantum computers is derived from the research of reversible computer which is to solve the energy consumption in computers. Different from traditional computers, quantum computers processing bits of information relies on quantum bits that are using quantum computing to perform data manipulation.
Google and many other companies all believe that the quantum computing will change the computing area, because quantum computing can deal with critical tasks faster. Besides IBM, Microsoft also has been working on this field for years, there are many startups like D-Wave Systems, and SoftBank’s newly founded Vision Fund is thinking about investing in it.
In 2014, Google unveiled its plans to independently develop quantum computing. Earlier this year, it claimed that quantum computers would prove its hegemony, and by the end of 2017, its performance test would surpass the existing supercomputers.
Quantum computers are huge bulky, and require special nurse, such as deep refrigeration. Therefore, they are easier to be leased over the Internet, instead of enterprises buying and deploying them in data centers. The major advantage in competition is that its running speed is faster. Theoretically, quantum computers will trim the computing times drastically, which can hugely reduce cloud service pricing. At present, the major rivals of Google in the cloud computing market are Amazon and Microsoft.
IBM has launched quantum computer service for cloud users in the early this year. In May, IBM added a 17-qubit commercial processor on this still-testing service. Well, Google also said that it was developing a device including 49 qubits. So far, it is still unclear that whether Google will open this machine to the outside through the Internet.