Several major companies are working on quantum computing projects, including IBM and Google. Amazon is also in the mix. The company opened the AWS Center for Quantum Computing last year and has been offering quantum computing through Amazon Web Services since 2019. It extends that work into what it says is an essential aspect to help quantum technology reach its full potential: quantum networks. As such, the company has announced the AWS Center for Quantum Networking (CQN).
As with quantum computing, the quantum networks are still in their infancy. It will probably be several more years before researchers start to get the most out of quantum technology. However, Amazon has more resources than most to invest in the field.
Amazon notes that quantum networks can connect quantum devices using single photons instead of laser beams (which are used in modern optical communications). However, in addition to enabling certain capabilities of quantum networks, there are some hurdles to overcome when it comes to using a single photon. Quantum mechanics limits the gain of a single photon, which limits the range of a network. “In addition, the weakness of single photons makes it difficult to interact with today’s quantum computing devices,” CQN research scientists Denis Sukachev and Mihir Bhaskar wrote in a blog post.
Researchers at the center will work on new technologies, such as quantum repeaters and transducers, to enable global quantum networks. They will develop hardware, software and apps for quantum networks.
One of the potential uses of quantum networks is “enabling global communications protected by quantum key distribution with levels of privacy and security unattainable with conventional encryption techniques,” Sukachev and Bhaskar wrote. “Quantum networks will also provide powerful and secure cloud quantum servers by interconnecting and amplifying the capabilities of individual quantum processors.”
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