Atos provides Danish university with Quantum Learning Machine

12 October 2018 4 min. read

Global IT consultancy Atos has agreed a strategic partnership with the Technical University of Denmark, allowing the Danish educational institution to use Atos’ Quantum Learning Machine hardware and software to further its research and education on quantum technology.

Launched in 2016, Atos’ Quantum Learning Machine is a complete on-premise environment designed for quantum software developers. Based on years of research into quantum mechanics, artificial intelligence (AI) and other emerging technologies, Atos built a ‘super computer’ that can support IT’ers with the design and build of quantum algorithms and next generation algorithms. The hardware is supported by a programme – ‘Atos Quantum’ – which provides scheme users with support in the area of simulation, programming, research and training & education.

Quantum computing is dubbed by analysts, including Atos in its latest Ascent Outlook 2018, as the next disruptor in the world of algorithms. “I think there’s a huge opportunity for quantum computing to disrupt a number of industries,” said William Hurley, chair of the Quantum Computing Standards Workgroup at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), in discussion with magazine Futurism. Using quantum-mechanical phenomena, such as superposition and entanglement, a quantum computer can operate much faster and solve more complex algorithms compared to today’s current computers, typically based on binary programming based on transistors.

Examples of breakthroughs that could be realised by quantum computing range from the discovery of new pharmaceutical molecules and majorly enhanced deep learning capabilities in AI to more complex risk modeling in insurance or the development of a new kind of internet, dubbed quantum communications. “I believe that the financial, pharmaceutical, security industries and technology will see the most change,” remarked Hurley.

Atos provides Danish university with Quantum Learning Machine

The technology is still however in its infancy, with major technology companies such as IBM and Google, and technology consultancies such as Atos, at the forefront of progress. These companies are pumping millions into research & development, building prototypes of quantum machines and designing cutting-edge laboratories to advance the technology. In the US, most of the activity is concentrated in tech hubs such as Silicon Valley, while in Europe, Atos’ Quantum programme was according to the IT consulting firm the first end-to-end quantum computing industry programme in the continent.

Atos’ Quantum programme

Since, several leading institutes have joined Atos’ programme, including the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the French University of Reims, the Atomic Energy Commission (based in France), and the University of Applied Sciences in Upper Austria. Commenting on the rationale behind joining forces with the French-origin IT services giant, Anders Bjarklev, President at Technical University of Denmark, said, “This partnership will enable us to experiment with the quantum computers that will most likely be around within a few years. This will give us a broader perspective and context regarding quantum technology – everything from physical and material technology to how to program and utilise it.” 

The Atos Quantum Learning Machine will support the university’s professors and researchers with the analysis and development of new algorithms. Meanwhile, students at the Danish university will have the opportunity to explore the technology and work with the business community to develop and test tomorrow’s quantum algorithms. The main focus will be on developing applications for Big Data, Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence, among others. 

Atos’ Quantum Learning Machine in Denmark, which is a turnkey system capable of developing up to 41 Qubits (quantum bits), will be delivered in 2019. “We are very excited to be able to bring the Atos Quantum Learning Machine to the Nordics and to encourage an innovative approach to teaching with state-of-the-art know-how”, said Harri Saikkonen, Managing Director of Atos in the Nordics.