Quantum computing has been explored by the likes of IBM and Google over the past couple of years, with the former in particular making strides in the field. Now Amazon is getting in on the action, revealing its own quantum-computing-as-a-service offering in the form of Braket for Amazon Web Services (AWS).

It is something that Microsoft too is exploring, with Amazon noting that Braket is, “a fully managed service that allows scientists, researchers, and developers to begin experimenting with computers from multiple quantum hardware providers in a single place.”

The new quantum computing offering was revealed at AWS re:Invent, which is currently underway Stateside.

“Quantum computing is definitely not mainstream today, but that time is coming. It is a very powerful tool that can solve certain types of problems that are difficult or impossible to solve classically. I suspect that within 40 or 50 years, many applications will be powered in part using services that run on quantum computers,” explains AWS chief evangelist, Jeff Barr, in a blog post about the announcement.

“This new service is designed to let you get some hands-on experience with qubits and quantum circuits. You can build and test your circuits in a simulated environment and then run them on an actual quantum computer. Amazon Braket is a fully managed AWS service, with security & encryption baked in at each level,” he adds.

For now it remains to be seen how extensive this new offering will be, and indeed which regions of the globe AWS plans to make it available.

With that in mind, we’re hoping it lands in South Africa, with Cape Town set to receive a AWS data centre presence early next year and the annual Summit taking place in the same city, some news on the quantum computing front is certainly a possibility.

Local developers interested in the technology should have a few options to choose from moving forward, with IBM’s recent Wits partnership being the only avenue we’re aware of at the moment. Hopefully that changes with an Azure presence in the country, and an AWS one on the horizon.

[Image – CC BY 2.0 Steve Jurvetson]