Quantum computing is set to transform many sectors over the coming years. However, very few quantum computers are commercially available, and sufficiently powerful models are prohibitively expensive to most enterprises, as well as requiring bulky refrigeration units in many cases.
Cloud-based quantum computing offers developers, researchers, and businesses a platform to develop and test quantum algorithms on real quantum computers or simulators via the cloud. Several large IT companies and a few smaller companies provide this type of cloud service, known as quantum-as-a-service (QaaS), and while access can be expensive for corporate users, some offer access free to researchers.
According to a blog post by Omdia chief quantum analyst Sam Lucero, access to quantum computing resources can cost about $1,000 to $2,000 an hour for cloud access, compared with $20 million to $40 million for an on-premises hardware sale.
These are some noteworthy global QaaS providers.
IBM’s quantum system features a 127 qubit processor and the company’s Qiskit quantum development toolkit for building and deploying applications. Users can even build and execute quantum computing circuits.
Google Quantum AI
Google provides researchers with access to its quantum computing hardware, allowing them to run their quantum programs on Google’s quantum processors. Google’s Cirq is an open-source quantum computing platform that enables users to build and test algorithms.
Amazon Bracket users can test their algorithms on a local simulator. Likewise, they can use the Amazon Bracket software development kit for building quantum applications and running algorithms on quantum computers.
Microsoft Azure Quantum
Microsoft offers cloud-based access to algorithms created by 1QBit and Microsoft. The Microsoft Quantum Computing Kit includes chemistry, machine learning and numeric libraries.
Alibaba Cloud offers access to an 11-qubit quantum computer via its cloud services. The platform is open to scientific researchers. Public users can learn about basic quantum information knowledge on the cloud platform and interact with scientists online.