While the likes of Microsoft, IBM, and Google have all made major investments in building their own quantum computing software or hardware; Amazon until recently, has been fairly silent about its stance on quantum computing, but that has changed with the announcement of Amazon Braket.
Braket is Amazon's inroad into making quantum computers developed by other vendors available to its cloud users via AWS, with the service currently supporting three quantum computing services, namely: Rigetti, IonQ, and D-Wave.
What's Amazon Braket all About?
Braket is a fully-managed service to help Amazon users to easily get involved with quantum computing, which includes three modules: Build, Test, and Run. With the Build module centering around managed Jupyter Notebooks which are pre-configured with sample algorithms, and developer tools, such as the Amazon Braket SDK.
The Test module, on the other hand, provides access to high-performance, and managed quantum circuit simulators. While the Run module offers on-demand access to different types of quantum computers (QPUs), including gate-based quantum computers from Rigetti and IonQ, and quantum annealer from D-Wave.
Albeit, the tasks may not run on the QPU immediately, as the QPUs can only execute tasks during the execution windows.
How to enable Amazon Braket with Notebooks
Amazon Braket is perhaps the easiest way to get into the quantum computing and simulators waters, but as the Noisy Intermediate Scale Quantum (NISQ) phase of quantum computing still persists, you don’t really need to expect much useful results from Braket.
In order to use Braket, you'll need to first enable it in your AWS account, and then you have to create a notebook instance. While noting that such Notebooks use Amazon SageMaker. Once you open the notebook, you'll need to enter new code or use one of Amazon’s examples.
And you'll need to check the status of the QPU devices, as they are not always available. Braket’s current QPU offerings are quite modest, with the 2048-qubit D-Wave annealer as mostly useful for optimization problems, which is about half the size of D-Wave’s latest-generation annealer and the 30-qubit Rigetti Aspen-8 is too small.
The 11-qubit IonQ QPU, has relatively long coherence times, which is way too small to implement the algorithms for quantum computers that should possess useful quantum supremacy, like Shor’s algorithm for finding the prime factors of an integer and Grover’s algorithm for finding the inverse of a function.
Definitely, we’ll still need more qubits, less noise, and longer coherence times, all of which are being actively researched to get any meaningful result with Braket.