Microsoft has agreed a partnership with quantum startup Pasqal which will see its quantum computers become available on Azure Quantum later this year.
This will provide users with cloud-based access to Azure’s first quantum processor based on neutral atom architecture, with unique digital and analog quantum computational capabilities.
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Announced in May 2020, Azure Quantum allows companies to experiment with quantum development through educational resources, pre-built ‘quantum-inspired’ solutions, as well as access to software and hardware from partners like 1QBit, Honeywell, IonQ, and QCI.
Pasqal is the latest company to join Microsoft’s fleet of quantum partners, providing software-agnostic quantum processing units capable of operating at room temperature and with lower energy take-up.
This allows users to address complex problems more efficiently than classical computers, opening “the door to unique capabilities no other quantum system offers”, according to Pasqal CEO and founder Georges-Olivier Reymond.
“With the availability of our system via Azure Quantum, we hope to accelerate the quantum programmes of the platform’s community of quantum developers and researchers and ultimately help them achieve real-world solutions to the world’s most critical challenges,” he added.
Pasqal also aims to deliver a 1000-qubit quantum processor for customers from the finance, energy, and supercomputing sectors, with market availability scheduled for the end of 2023.
The news comes three months after Pasqal announced a partnership with Nvidia which will see the two companies collaborate in building a Quantum Computing Centre of Excellence that will feature a cluster of 10 Nvidia DGX A100 AI-systems-in-a-box, which is also used in one of the most powerful supercomputers of all time.
According to Christophe Legrand, head of France Enterprise Computing at Nvidia, the systems “will enable the simulation of tens of atomic qubits in 2D and 3D arrays to develop tools that will foster the development of industrial applications”. These will aid scientific research in areas such as drug discovery and machine learning, he added.
The news of Pasqal’s partnership with Azure Quantum comes days after Microsoft announced that Microsoft Defender for Cloud users can now access an early preview of Defender for Azure Cosmos DB, which helps organisations identify and address weak points in their cloud infrastructure through cloud workload protection and cloud security posture management.
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