IBM has announced plans to open its first Europe-based quantum data centre to facilitate access to cutting-edge quantum computing for companies, research institutions and government agencies.
The data centre is expected to be operational in 2024, with multiple IBM quantum computing systems, each with utility scale quantum processors, i.e., those of more than 100 qubits.
The data centre will be located at IBM’s facility in Ehningen, Germany, and will serve as IBM Quantum’s European cloud region. Users in Europe and elsewhere in the world will reportedly be able to provision services at the data centre for their cloud-based quantum computing research and exploratory activity. The data centre is being designed to help clients continue to manage their European data regulation requirements, including processing all job data within EU borders. The facility will be IBM’s second quantum data centre and quantum cloud region, after Poughkeepsie, New York.
“Europe has some of the world’s most advanced users of quantum computers, and interest is only accelerating with the era of utility scale quantum processors,” said Jay Gambetta, IBM Fellow and Vice President of IBM Quantum. “The planned quantum data centre and associated cloud region will give European users a new option as they seek to tap the power of quantum computing in an effort to solve some of the world’s most challenging problems.”
“Our quantum data centre in Europe is an integral piece of our global endeavor,” said Ana Paula Assis, IBM General Manager for EMEA. “It will provide new opportunities for our clients to collaborate side-by-side with our scientists in Europe, as well as their own clients, as they explore how best to apply quantum in their industry.”
The IBM Quantum Network currently has more than 60 organisations across Europe accessing quantum hardware and software via the cloud, including Bosch; Bundeswehr University; Crédit Mutuel Alliance Fédérale, including its technology subsidiary Euro-Information, and Targobank; Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY); E.ON; the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN); Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft; Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center (PSNC); and, T-Systems.
These clients across Europe are exploring potential uses for quantum computing including material science, high energy physics, energy transition, sustainability, and financial applications.
“We are happy and proud to support the IBM Quantum team’s decision to set up their European quantum data center in Ehningen, Germany,” said Dr. Raoul Klingner, director research, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. “The choice of location in the state of Baden-Wurttemberg will further strengthen the ecosystem that Fraunhofer has built with customers and partners from industry and research. We are pleased to further continue our strategic partnership with IBM.”
“At T-Systems, we are collaborating with IBM to combine quantum and classical computing in a seamless and scalable experience for our customers to explore applications of quantum computing,” said Adel Al-Saleh, Deutsche Telekom board member and chief executive of T-Systems. “Having access to a quantum data centre dedicated to Europe will help lower the access barrier for our customers as they decide on how to take their first, decisive steps in exploring and using quantum.”
The European cloud region is a key component in IBM’s efforts to collaborate with leading European industry, academia and government to advance quantum and build a quantum workforce in Europe. IBM Quantum and the open source Qiskit software is used in over 100 university classes in Europe. One million learners in Europe have advanced their quantum skills through hackathons, workshops and digital learning sponsored by IBM.