Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce mogul is planning to compete with IBM as it launches its own quantum powered computing services in its cloud.
Quantum computing has been added to Alibaba’s cloud service in partnership with the Chinese Academy of Sciences. This superconducting cloud computer offers 11 quantum bit (qubit) speed which makes it the second fastest in the world behind the 20-qubit cloud computer of IBM.
The quantum computer is now accessible to all Alibaba Cloud users to run code and conduct experiments.
Dr. Shi Yaoyun, the chief quantum technology scientist of Alibaba Cloud said that users of Alibaba Cloud's quantum computer will help pave the way for future improvements in quantum computers worldwide.
Shi said that by introducing quantum computing services on the cloud, it will be easier for the teams to experiment with quantum applications in a real environment to better understand the hardware, as well as leading the way in developing quantum tools and software globally.
Alibaba's involvement in the world of quantum computing could be a call to other major cloud players like Amazon and Google that not only is cloud-accessible quantum computing useful to its customers, but that it is a worthwhile investment as well.
Quantum computers are designed to perform intense calculations much faster than a transistor-based computer could ever physically perform. Traditionally, the incredible power and cooling expenses of maintaining a superconducting quantum computer mean access is reserved for a few big research institutes.
The addition of quantum computing power to the Alibaba’s cloud services could make intense data crunching accessible to many more businesses and institutions and this change could further accelerate the adoption of quantum computing and advance it further, faster.
Details on Alibaba's offerings aren't yet listed on its website.