Kick-off for the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre’s Quantum Integration Centre

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Munich, March 22, 2021-The Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities has opened its Quantum Integration Centre, or QIC for short. Bavaria’s leading scientific computing centre is taking quantum computing out of the physics labs and bringing it to scientific applications. Present at the QIC launch: Bavarian Minister President Markus Söder and Bavarian Minister for Science and the Arts Bernd Sibler.

“In the LRZ Quantum Integration Centre, we bundle our quantum computing activities and drive them forward together with our partners within the Munich Quantum Valley,” explains Dieter Kranzlmüller, Director of the LRZ. “As a leading international data centre, we are already working on setting up quantum computing hardware on site and developing concepts to make it available to researchers via our cloud. Within our LRZ training programme, we offer already first workshops and trainings and plan to expand our offer in quantum computing education. Last but not least, as a supercomputing centre, we are naturally interested in how quantum computing can be combined with supercomputing, as this will make quantum computing accessible more quickly.”

With the Quantum Integration Centre (QIC), the LRZ is pursuing three ambitious goals and making an important contribution to supporting the Munich Quantum Valley initiative of the Free State of Bavaria in Germany:

(1) The establishment and expansion of quantum computing services for scientists – in the usual reliable, secure and flexible manner.

(2) The development of hardware and software to integrate quantum computing into supercomputing. In addition, systematic research and development, which will enrich both future technologies and give them a boost.

(3) The exchange with the international quantum community to get a detailed picture of user requirements.

The education and training of sought-after quantum computing experts forms the basis of all activities.

Quantum computing is still at the experimental stage. However, with the first components and often with the help of supercomputers, quantum volume can already be built up for use by research and industry. That is why the LRZ is cooperating with Atos and has put the Atos Quantum Learning Machine (Atos QLM) – the world’s most powerful commercially available quantum simulator – into operation. The system was specifically designed to develop algorithms for quantum computing and perform initial simulations, all without specialized quantum hardware.

“We are honored to be one of the first hardware partners of the LRZ Quantum Integration Centre,” said Elie Girard, CEO of Atos. “Quantum science and technologies are seen as key to the 21st century. Atos has launched a broad initiative to help companies experiment and learn with quantum computing even before they have access to quantum hardware. We are proud that the Atos Quantum Learning Machine will be used within the Munich Quantum Valley.”

While the first quantum algorithms and applications are already being developed, the LRZ is working on quantum processors with the Finnish-German startup IQM and other partners. “Digital-Analog Quantum Computing” (DAQC) is the name of the project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), which combines the technology of analog, controllable systems with that of digital-universal quantum computers whose computing power increases with each qubit. This will result in robust quantum processors with first 5, 20 and then 54 qubits, as well as methods and electronics to control them. These innovative control units will initially work in conjunction with the LRZ’s high-performance systems and prove their reliability there. For this purpose, the LRZ is procuring a cryostat, a cooling device for the low temperatures on which quantum computing is based.

“At IQM, our main focus is on building co-design quantum computers and integrating quantum accelerators into supercomputing centers. As a system integrator, we are already capable of building quantum computers that can achieve these goals. We look forward to working with the LRZ and our ecosystem partners to launch the ambitious DAQC project and support other international quantum initiatives,” said Jan Goetz, CEO of IQM Quantum Computers.

Based on the Quantum Learning Machine (QLM) and later on the quantum processors, the QIC will offer and expand innovative services around quantum computing to science and research. One focus is on qualification. The LRZ is prepared for this: With the Bavarian Quantum Computing eXchange (BQCX), already launched in 2019, not only a lively community for international knowledge exchange between industry, computer science and academia has grown, but also a network of strong partnerships for technology exploration, co-design and education. In addition to ideas for initial seminars and workshops, the BQCX meetings generated plans, contacts and partners for research projects, and the LRZ’s quantum strategy around QIC was formed. For example, the LRZ is researching how the performance of next-generation supercomputers could be increased by simulating quantum circuits. On its supercomputer SuperMUC-NG, the LRZ has been offering a 42-qubit quantum computing simulator from Intel for research purposes since 2019.