The Beginning of Quantum Computing Atos
Quantum computing harnesses the power of quantum mechanics to solve complex problems that seem to be beyond the capabilities of classical computers.
There are many areas where quantum computing has great potential, including medicine, logistics and supply chain, world finance and cybersecurity.
As a European player in cybersecurity, cloud computing, and high-performance computing, Atos — a multinational information technology consulting and services company headquartered in Bezons, France with a reported 100,000 or more employees — is also playing its part. Starting in 2016, the company launched “Atos Quantum”a program established to develop quantum computing solutions, especially in the areas of industrial integration and development.
Plans then are for a quantum simulation platform that will allow researchers to test algorithms for future quantum computers, build quantum algorithm development and programming clusters for the development of quantum applications, including Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, supercomputing, and cybersecurity, not to mention leveraging a quantum supercomputer environment. and conventional to enable new applications to exploit the potential of quantum computing. In addition, Atos intends to carry out a lot of R&D of new quantum secure cryptographic algorithms to protect applications against quantum methods, while maintaining existing security standards that enable the safe operation of the Internet and electronic commerce and protection of personal information, etc.
However, before being exhibited to the world, Atos Quantum reviewed by the scientific council of Alain Aspect (2022 Nobel Prize in Physics), David DiVincenzo, Artur Ekert, Daniel Estève, Serge Haroche (another Physics Nobel Laureate), and Cédric Villani (Fields Medal winner).
At launch, Thierry Breton, CEO and Chairman of Atos, said:
“The first quantum revolution, led in the early 20th century by young Europeans such as Einstein, Heisenberg, Pauli or Schrödinger, has over the years spawned major discoveries including superconductivity, the transistor, lasers, fiber-optic communications, MRI, GPS etc… Today, leveraging our expertise in supercomputing and cybersecurity, we are fully committed to the second quantum revolution that will disrupt all of our clients’ business activities in the coming decades, from medicine to agriculture to finance and industry. It is a real collective, human and technological adventure that is open to us. For those who love digital evolution, they will love the quantum revolution.”
In 2019, QLM Research Program established by Atos and The STFC Hartree Center as a means to test and evaluate quantum algorithms in a way that is agnostic to the quantum technology used. Part of that collaboration includes the launch in 2020 of The Joseph Fourier Prize, which aims to recognize the work of researchers, academics and industrial scientists in Quantum Computing. The partnership also includes Quantum Learning, which offers quantum consulting, specialist expertise to explore algorithms and training, and systems admin support in QML.
Three years on and the Atos quantum computing program is still ongoing. It’s important to note that Atos announced Vividen — Atos’ leading business in digital, cloud, big data, and security — in 2022 and that there are plan to share it the computing infrastructure business, under the “Atos” brand, into a services spin-off. Last October, Atos told Reuters it believed the separation would be completed “effectively July 1, 2023 at the latest, and December 31, 2023 at the latest.”
In addition to offering AI solutions for HPC, Eviden will also provide edge computing, computer vision, HPCaaS, simulation, and “next generation HPC. The company is also planning a quantum computing product (which you can read about below).
Who’s Behind Atos Quantum Computing?
The team of mathematicians and quantum physicists who originally reviewed the Atos quantum computing platform all sit on the company’s Quantum Advisory Board. Taking their advice were Nourdine Bihmane (Group CEO and Co-CEO), Philippe Oliva (Group Deputy CEO and Co-CEO), Diane Galbe (Senior Executive Vice President) and half a dozen others on the Executive Board. Additionally, Eric Eppe is the VP of portfolio and strategy for HPC, AI, and Quantum Computing for the Eviden Atos Group.
Atos Quantum Platform
We will now detail Atos’ three main offerings:
Product 1: Atos QLM
Researchers, engineers and students can build and test quantum software at Atos Quantum Learning Machine (QLM), a complete local environment (which can emulate circuits up to 41 qubits) with a powerful dedicated hardware infrastructure that includes a quantum simulator and optimizer integrated into the system. As a result, applications developed using Atos QLM can be emulated or run on a quantum accelerator without modification. By simulating physical noise, QLM generates a more realistic hardware quantum environment sensitive to physics.
Product 2: Atos QLM E
Another Atos innovative product in 2023 in the quantum field is Atos Quantum Learning Machine Enhanced — Atos QLM E. According to the company’s website, users can simulate variational algorithms up to twelve times faster with Atos QLM E, making it especially useful for NISQ (Noisy Intermediate Scale Quantum) accelerators while enhancing research on Quantum Approximation Optimization Algorithms, Variational Quantum Eigen Solvers / Imaginary Time Evolution Variation, Variation Quantum Factoring, and Variation Quantum Classifier.
Another thing to note is that Atos has a free and universal quantum metric reference, Q-score. The efficacy of this is that rather than measuring theoretical or physical performance, the Q-score measures the effectiveness of the system in dealing with real-life problems.
Most Significant Quantum Computing Project Atos
Now we will look at some of Atos’ most important projects in quantum:
Last month, Eviden launched Qaptiva, a new quantum computing service that enables users to develop and leverage real-world applications by deploying new quantum computing technologies. Qaptiva empowers companies, organizations and research centers to solve complex scientific and business challenges with advanced application development.
As per a Vividen press release from May 11 this year, “Qaptiva offers all-in-one capabilities and a best-in-class development environment to write code once and run it seamlessly on different Quantum hardware, either on-premises or via the cloud. Designed to include in one place all the quantum technologies provided by Qaptiva’s software partners, this platform provides developers, researchers and scientists with all the necessary tools and resources (libraries, connectors, emulators and compilers) to program, optimize, compile, emulating, and running code on a Quantum Processing Unit (QPU), gives real results very quickly without waiting for a Large Scale Quantum (LSQ).
In the same press release, Hyperion Research Chief Quantum Analyst Bob Sorensen was quoted as saying in the official announcement: “With the launch of Qaptiva, a full as-a-service offering focused on app development, Eviden is on the right path to rapid development. Quantum Computing innovation and adoption for enterprises and businesses. This allows Vividen to acquire new capabilities, expand its solutions to address new markets and meet customer needs.” Sorensen also added that Eviden could leverage its HPC strengths to support joint Quantum-HPC-AI efforts.
Who are Atos’ Leading Partners?
Eric Eppe has noted that Eviden/Atos has “a strong customer list from industry, government, and academia, including several large HPC centres. Eppe went on to say that Oak Ridge National Laboratory is his first major HPC center customer, continuing that the industrial POC tire kicker in the quantum arena has started to turn into a more robust plan for specific applications. He cites France-based TotalEnergies as a prime example. “It’s looking at materials science, and ways to capture CO2,” said Eppe, adding that Eviden/Atos had more than 40 customers as of May 2023.
Atos’ customers/partners in quantum have included over the last few years IQM, Aspen Systems, OVHcloud, and the Galician Supercomputing Center (CESGA).
How is Atos Quantum Computing Funded?
In 1997, two French IT companies merged to form Atos. In 2000, merged with Dutch company Origin BV to become Atos Origin. In 2002, it acquired KPMG Consulting, and in 2004, SchlumbergerSema.
Atos Origin announced the acquisition of Siemens IT Solutions and Services in 2010 and it was completed in July 2011. After that, Atos reverted to its original name.
There have been a series of mergers, including the acquisition of Siemens IT subsidiary, a controlling stake in French computing company Bull SA, the acquisition of Xerox’s IT outsourcing business, as well as a global partnership with Google Cloud in 2018 to help offer secure artificial intelligence systems.
Financially, the Atos quantum division is funded by the Atos Group from its balance sheet. The business is in the process of a significant reorganization.
As one of Europe’s most recognized and trusted players in the HPC scene, Atos/Eviden has the potential to compete with more well-known vendors in the market such as IBM and Microsoft. Even though we are still in the early days of the quantum, Atos is taking it very seriously.
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