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Amazon Unit Launches Quantum Computing Service

By Eric Volkman – Aug 13, 2020 at 8:52PM

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Amazon Braket includes a set of tools users can access to help develop and launch their algorithms.

Amazon's (AMZN 3.04%) key subsidiary Amazon Web Services (AWS) is diving deeper into the world of quantum computing. The unit announced on Thursday that it has opened for general availability its Amazon Braket, described by the company as "a fully managed AWS service that provides a development environment to help customers explore and design quantum algorithms."

The service allows users to test quantum algorithms in an environment that simulates quantum computers. Customers will also be able to diagnose problems that arise with those algorithms. Once an algorithm has been debugged and prepared for rollout, users can run it on AWS' quantum processors. 

According to Amazon, these processors are based on numerous different technologies from various providers, including IonQ, Rigetti Computing, and D-Wave Systems. Amazon Braket users will be charged only for the resources used, the company added.

Two people talking while looking at a computer monitor.

Image source: Getty Images.

To assist with the development process, Amazon's offering has a set of tools, including a library of existing algorithms that can be immediately utilized.

"Our goal for Amazon Braket is to be a catalyst for innovation across the quantum community, bringing together hardware and software developers, researchers, and end users," AWS Vice President of Technology Bill Vass said.

Unlike traditional computing, which relies on a system of units called "bits" that can either be 0 (off) or 1 (on), quantum computing uses qubits. These can be both on and off simultaneously, or in various positions between those two states, allowing machines to undertake calculations of much greater complexity at faster speeds.

In its announcement, AWS did not speculate as to how Amazon Braket would affect its parent company's results.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Eric Volkman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon and recommends the following options: short January 2022 $1940 calls on Amazon and long January 2022 $1920 calls on Amazon. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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