AWS and Antia Lamas-Linares to Bring Quantum Communication Innovations to Q-NEXT

November 18, 2022

Nov. 18, 2022 — Earlier this year, the Q-NEXT quantum research center announced that Amazon Web Services (AWS) joined its growing collaboration. The partnership is not only an opportunity for Q-NEXT to leverage the resources of the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform, but it is also a chance for AWS to connect with other institutions to accelerate the company’s quantum technology research and development.

Antia Lamas-Linares is quantum networking lead at Amazon Web Services — an institutional Q-NEXT partner — and an expert in quantum optics. Credit: AWS.

A U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Quantum Information Science Research Center led by DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory, Q-NEXT develops quantum technologies that will improve people’s lives. For example, experts are working to establish quantum information networks that are eavesdrop-proof, a development that would be especially beneficial for areas such as finance.

One of the people working to link the globe through quantum networks is AWS research scientist Antia Lamas-Linares, the lead for the AWS Center for Quantum Networking.

Lamas-Linares and her team encode information in the quantum properties of photons, the fundamental units of light. By enciphering information, they are working to explore how to store, control, compute and transmit information in powerful ways that can’t be achieved through traditional computing and communication.

A challenge of quantum technology is successfully transmitting the carriers of quantum information — the photons — over long enough distances. Say someone wants to send photons with encoded quantum information over fiber-optic cable. The weakness of the quantum signal limits how far the photons can travel without being absorbed in the fiber.

One solution is a quantum repeater, which Lamas-Linares and others at AWS are developing as a step toward practical, long-distance quantum networks. Like a horse ready to embark on one leg of a Pony Express route, a repeater refreshes the delivery of the message, ensuring it arrives at its destination intact.

The development of a repeater is an exciting engineering challenge, Lamas-Linares said. For example, in a quantum network, photons travel through a fiber 1,000 times thinner than the width of a human hair. How do you perfectly align the fiber tip with the part of the repeater that receives the photon?

Nanopositioners are instruments that can nudge the fiber that fraction of a hair so that the photons successfully arrive in their tiny, high-tech depot. They’re a proven technology, but other factors need to be considered when planning for a large-scale information network.

The technology definitely works. These nanopositioners are amazing, but it’s not a very scalable process,” Lamas-Linares said. ​You wouldn’t want to have to operate a ton of them.”

Lamas-Linares and team are developing and testing different fabrication processes that will reliably convey the photons in and out of the repeater.

Complicating matters is the fact that their repeater technology operates in a refrigerator that’s a fraction of a degree above absolute zero. Once the repeater system is assembled, it will need to survive cycles of warming and cooling from close to absolute zero to room temperature. How do you accommodate the materials’ inevitable physical changes?

When you cool down the device, it has to remain well-coupled, well-coordinated,” Lamas-Linares said. ​Everything has to be extremely precise. It’s nanometer-scale positioning that needs to be exactly right.”

The challenge is emblematic of the kind of problem solving that industry is good at: the combination of small-scale engineering and large-scale production.

And it’s a good fit for Lamas-Linares, who came to AWS in 2021 with experience in both academia and industry. After earning her Ph.D. in physics from the University of Oxford and completing a postdoctoral appointment at the University of California, Santa Barbara, she moved to Singapore, where she co-founded the Centre for Quantum Technologies in 2003.

After two further stints at research centers in the United States, she joined a Singapore-based startup called SpeQtral as chief quantum scientist, working on quantum connections for small satellites.

At AWS, Lamas-Linares’ work combines the long-range perspective of academia with the consumer focus of industry.

We’re in a privileged position because we are thinking about the customer needs, but we’re thinking long-term. Everybody here is aware that this is not like a 24-month life cycle. We work for a long-term vision,” she said. ​If you’re in industry, you need a vision of where you want to arrive.”

She and others at AWS are exploring areas that will connect people through quantum technologies. For example, collaborators at AWS are interested in working with Q-NEXT’s university and DOE national laboratory scientists to create new quantum materials and devices using nanoscale fabrication techniques. They’re also interested in cooperating to make qubits — the fundamental units of quantum information — that are based on atomic-level irregularities in diamond.

AWS and Q-NEXT are also aligned in their interest to expand the pool of people who work in quantum information science.

We always talk about the quantum scientists, but of course there is a lot more to building quantum systems than just knowing quantum science,” Lamas-Linares said. ​We need electrical engineers, software experts, materials scientists and engineers — all these roles. It’s a very interesting area, and not just for people who are getting their Ph.D.s in quantum technologies. We particularly want to explore nontraditional routes for people coming into this field.”

Being part of Q-NEXT, she said, is an opportunity to recruit experts across disciplines, draw on the diffusion of techniques and information at different institutions, and break through the knowledge silos.

As a global company that already provides computing resources to academia, industry and governments worldwide and boasts one of the world’s largest fiber networks, AWS will certainly play a role in building our future quantum infrastructure,” said Q-NEXT Director David Awschalom, who is also an Argonne senior scientist, vice dean of Research and Infrastructure and the Liew Family Professor of Molecular Engineering and physics at the University of Chicago, and the director of the Chicago Quantum Exchange. ​Antia not only understands the physics and engineering challenges of quantum technology, but she also knows how to innovate for real-world challenges. She and others at AWS bring their long-range vision to Q-NEXT, and I’m excited to see what they’ll bring to the future of quantum communication.”

This work is supported by the U.S. DOE National Quantum Information Science Research Centers as part of the Q-NEXT center. 

About Q-NEXT

Q-NEXT is a U.S. Department of Energy National Quantum Information Science Research Center led by Argonne National Laboratory. Q-NEXT brings together world-class researchers from national laboratories, universities and U.S. technology companies with the goal of developing the science and technology to control and distribute quantum information. Q-NEXT collaborators and institutions will create two national foundries for quantum materials and devices, develop networks of sensors and secure communications systems, establish simulation and network test beds, and train the next-generation quantum-ready workforce to ensure continued U.S. scientific and economic leadership in this rapidly advancing field.

About Argonne Lab

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.


Source: Leah Hesla, Argonne Lab

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

2022 Road Trip: NASA Ames Takes Off

November 25, 2022

I left Dallas very early Friday morning after the conclusion of SC22. I had a race with the devil to get from Dallas to Mountain View, Calif., by Sunday. According to Google Maps, this 1,957 mile jaunt would be the longe Read more…

2022 Road Trip: Sandia Brain Trust Sounds Off

November 24, 2022

As the 2022 Great American Supercomputing Road Trip carries on, it’s Sandia’s turn. It was a bright sunny day when I rolled into Albuquerque after a high-speed run from Los Alamos National Laboratory. My interview su Read more…

2022 HPC Road Trip: Los Alamos

November 23, 2022

With SC22 in the rearview mirror, it’s time to get back to the 2022 Great American Supercomputing Road Trip. To refresh everyone’s memory, I jumped in the car on November 3rd and headed towards SC22 in Dallas, stoppi Read more…

Chipmakers Looking at New Architecture to Drive Computing Ahead

November 23, 2022

The ability to scale current computing designs is reaching a breaking point, and chipmakers such as Intel, Qualcomm and AMD are putting their brains together on an alternate architecture to push computing forward. The chipmakers are coalescing around the new concept of sparse computing, which involves bringing computing to data... Read more…

QuEra’s Quest: Build a Flexible Neutral Atom-based Quantum Computer

November 23, 2022

Last month, QuEra Computing began providing access to its 256-qubit, neutral atom-based quantum system, Aquila, from Amazon Braket. Founded in 2018, and built on technology developed at Harvard and MIT, QuEra, is one of Read more…

AWS Solution Channel

Shutterstock 1648511269

Avoid overspending with AWS Batch using a serverless cost guardian monitoring architecture

Pay-as-you-go resources are a compelling but daunting concept for budget conscious research customers. Uncertainty of cloud costs is a barrier-to-entry for most, and having near real-time cost visibility is critical. Read more…

 

shutterstock_1431394361

AI and the need for purpose-built cloud infrastructure

Modern AI solutions augment human understanding, preferences, intent, and even spoken language. AI improves our knowledge and understanding by delivering faster, more informed insights that fuel transformation beyond anything previously imagined. Read more…

SC22’s ‘HPC Accelerates’ Plenary Stresses Need for Collaboration

November 21, 2022

Every year, SC has a theme. For SC22 – held last week in Dallas – it was “HPC Accelerates”: a theme that conference chair Candace Culhane said reflected “how supercomputing is continuously changing the world by Read more…

Chipmakers Looking at New Architecture to Drive Computing Ahead

November 23, 2022

The ability to scale current computing designs is reaching a breaking point, and chipmakers such as Intel, Qualcomm and AMD are putting their brains together on an alternate architecture to push computing forward. The chipmakers are coalescing around the new concept of sparse computing, which involves bringing computing to data... Read more…

QuEra’s Quest: Build a Flexible Neutral Atom-based Quantum Computer

November 23, 2022

Last month, QuEra Computing began providing access to its 256-qubit, neutral atom-based quantum system, Aquila, from Amazon Braket. Founded in 2018, and built o Read more…

SC22’s ‘HPC Accelerates’ Plenary Stresses Need for Collaboration

November 21, 2022

Every year, SC has a theme. For SC22 – held last week in Dallas – it was “HPC Accelerates”: a theme that conference chair Candace Culhane said reflected Read more…

Quantum – Are We There (or Close) Yet? No, Says the Panel

November 19, 2022

For all of its politeness, a fascinating panel on the last day of SC22 – Quantum Computing: A Future for HPC Acceleration? – mostly served to illustrate the Read more…

RISC-V Is Far from Being an Alternative to x86 and Arm in HPC

November 18, 2022

One of the original RISC-V designers this week boldly predicted that the open architecture will surpass rival chip architectures in performance. "The prediction is two or three years we'll be surpassing your architectures and available performance with... Read more…

Gordon Bell Special Prize Goes to LLM-Based Covid Variant Prediction

November 17, 2022

For three years running, ACM has awarded not only its long-standing Gordon Bell Prize (read more about this year’s winner here!) but also its Gordon Bell Spec Read more…

2022 Gordon Bell Prize Goes to Plasma Accelerator Research

November 17, 2022

At the awards ceremony at SC22 in Dallas today, ACM awarded the 2022 ACM Gordon Bell Prize to a team of researchers who used four major supercomputers – inclu Read more…

Gordon Bell Nominee Used LLMs, HPC, Cerebras CS-2 to Predict Covid Variants

November 17, 2022

Large language models (LLMs) have taken the tech world by storm over the past couple of years, dominating headlines with their ability to generate convincing hu Read more…

Nvidia Shuts Out RISC-V Software Support for GPUs 

September 23, 2022

Nvidia is not interested in bringing software support to its GPUs for the RISC-V architecture despite being an early adopter of the open-source technology in its GPU controllers. Nvidia has no plans to add RISC-V support for CUDA, which is the proprietary GPU software platform, a company representative... Read more…

RISC-V Is Far from Being an Alternative to x86 and Arm in HPC

November 18, 2022

One of the original RISC-V designers this week boldly predicted that the open architecture will surpass rival chip architectures in performance. "The prediction is two or three years we'll be surpassing your architectures and available performance with... Read more…

AWS Takes the Short and Long View of Quantum Computing

August 30, 2022

It is perhaps not surprising that the big cloud providers – a poor term really – have jumped into quantum computing. Amazon, Microsoft Azure, Google, and th Read more…

Chinese Startup Biren Details BR100 GPU

August 22, 2022

Amid the high-performance GPU turf tussle between AMD and Nvidia (and soon, Intel), a new, China-based player is emerging: Biren Technology, founded in 2019 and headquartered in Shanghai. At Hot Chips 34, Biren co-founder and president Lingjie Xu and Biren CTO Mike Hong took the (virtual) stage to detail the company’s inaugural product: the Biren BR100 general-purpose GPU (GPGPU). “It is my honor to present... Read more…

Tesla Bulks Up Its GPU-Powered AI Super – Is Dojo Next?

August 16, 2022

Tesla has revealed that its biggest in-house AI supercomputer – which we wrote about last year – now has a total of 7,360 A100 GPUs, a nearly 28 percent uplift from its previous total of 5,760 GPUs. That’s enough GPU oomph for a top seven spot on the Top500, although the tech company best known for its electric vehicles has not publicly benchmarked the system. If it had, it would... Read more…

AMD Thrives in Servers amid Intel Restructuring, Layoffs

November 12, 2022

Chipmakers regularly indulge in a game of brinkmanship, with an example being Intel and AMD trying to upstage one another with server chip launches this week. But each of those companies are in different positions, with AMD playing its traditional role of a scrappy underdog trying to unseat the behemoth Intel... Read more…

JPMorgan Chase Bets Big on Quantum Computing

October 12, 2022

Most talk about quantum computing today, at least in HPC circles, focuses on advancing technology and the hurdles that remain. There are plenty of the latter. F Read more…

UCIe Consortium Incorporates, Nvidia and Alibaba Round Out Board

August 2, 2022

The Universal Chiplet Interconnect Express (UCIe) consortium is moving ahead with its effort to standardize a universal interconnect at the package level. The c Read more…

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

Using Exascale Supercomputers to Make Clean Fusion Energy Possible

September 2, 2022

Fusion, the nuclear reaction that powers the Sun and the stars, has incredible potential as a source of safe, carbon-free and essentially limitless energy. But Read more…

Nvidia, Qualcomm Shine in MLPerf Inference; Intel’s Sapphire Rapids Makes an Appearance.

September 8, 2022

The steady maturation of MLCommons/MLPerf as an AI benchmarking tool was apparent in today’s release of MLPerf v2.1 Inference results. Twenty-one organization Read more…

Not Just Cash for Chips – The New Chips and Science Act Boosts NSF, DOE, NIST

August 3, 2022

After two-plus years of contentious debate, several different names, and final passage by the House (243-187) and Senate (64-33) last week, the Chips and Science Act will soon become law. Besides the $54.2 billion provided to boost US-based chip manufacturing, the act reshapes US science policy in meaningful ways. NSF’s proposed budget... Read more…

SC22 Unveils ACM Gordon Bell Prize Finalists

August 12, 2022

Courtesy of the schedule for the SC22 conference, we now have our first glimpse at the finalists for this year’s coveted Gordon Bell Prize. The Gordon Bell Pr Read more…

Intel Is Opening up Its Chip Factories to Academia

October 6, 2022

Intel is opening up its fabs for academic institutions so researchers can get their hands on physical versions of its chips, with the end goal of boosting semic Read more…

AMD Previews 400 Gig Adaptive SmartNIC SOC at Hot Chips

August 24, 2022

Fresh from finalizing its acquisitions of FPGA provider Xilinx (Feb. 2022) and DPU provider Pensando (May 2022) ), AMD previewed what it calls a 400 Gig Adaptive smartNIC SOC yesterday at Hot Chips. It is another contender in the increasingly crowded and blurry smartNIC/DPU space where distinguishing between the two isn’t always easy. The motivation for these device types... Read more…

Google Program to Free Chips Boosts University Semiconductor Design

August 11, 2022

A Google-led program to design and manufacture chips for free is becoming popular among researchers and computer enthusiasts. The search giant's open silicon program is providing the tools for anyone to design chips, which then get manufactured. Google foots the entire bill, from a chip's conception to delivery of the final product in a user's hand. Google's... Read more…

AMD’s Genoa CPUs Offer Up to 96 5nm Cores Across 12 Chiplets

November 10, 2022

AMD’s fourth-generation Epyc processor line has arrived, starting with the “general-purpose” architecture, called “Genoa,” the successor to third-gen Eypc Milan, which debuted in March of last year. At a launch event held today in San Francisco, AMD announced the general availability of the latest Epyc CPUs with up to 96 TSMC 5nm Zen 4 cores... Read more…

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
HPCwire