The ability to predict chemical properties without trial and error in the lab is a huge technological advantage in materials innovation and drug discovery. Accurate quantum chemistry simulation can be a powerful tool for unlocking this predictive power. However, these accurate simulations are notoriously difficult to perform beyond the smallest of molecules, and conventional methods quickly reach their limits. What can be done?
Thinking outside the box with new methods is vital, and having access to the tools to carry out these methods is necessary as well. Both quantum and cloud computing are major paradigms in technology that will pave the way for scalable quantum simulation.
“We are building our quantum simulation platform exactly with this in mind: leveraging the power of today’s classical computers for solving intractable chemistry problems while preparing everything to be augmented by quantum computers down the road.”
—Arman Zaribafiyan, Head of Quantum Simulation, 1QBit
Cloud computing allows for massive parallelization and on-demand access to tackle problems on a scale that was never before possible. And, since its inception, it has been known that quantum computing has the potential to provide game-changing speed-ups to quantum simulation. Quantum technology is rapidly evolving and is primed to revolutionize the field as more-powerful quantum computers become available.
1QBit is building a platform that takes advantage of both cloud computing and quantum computing. The framework is made available using the abundant computing resources accessible through Microsoft Azure. Under the Azure umbrella is Azure Quantum, which offers quantum computing software and hardware tools. At the Azure Quantum Developer Workshop, 1QBit presented a preview of what is possible using 1QBit’s quantum simulation platform, which is to be released this year.
1QBit Demos at the Workshop
1QBit researchers gave a preview of two exciting areas in which progress is being made in quantum chemistry.
Seamlessly Using Quantum Computing for Simulating Large Molecular Systems
The researchers showed how quantum computers accessed over Azure Quantum could be used to calculate properties of a large molecular system at a high level of accuracy. The problem can be broken down efficiently to reduce the number of qubits required in the computation.
What makes performing these computations even more effective on Azure Quantum is the availability of classical computing resources that are needed to run near-term quantum algorithms. Azure Quantum also leverages the open source quantum software framework Q#. It is a well-designed and robust programming language that allows seamless integration of classical and quantum logic in one place. This provision is essential for hybrid quantum computing and has been integrated into the workflow offered by 1QBit.
Also, in quantum computation, it is necessary to mitigate residual errors that arise. The team demonstrated a way to detect and remove errors in an efficient way by reusing measured qubits using a new post-processing technique.
High-Accuracy Quantum Simulation Using Classical Computing
Second, the team demonstrated how QEMIST Cloud, a cloud-based platform in development, could be used to simulate the ground state energies of large molecules with very high accuracy. The approach uses problem decomposition, where large problems are broken into subproblems that are more easily handled by the available computational resources.
Each subproblem can be solved in parallel using the sea of classical computing resources available through Azure. Even more promising, the availability of quantum computing backends in Azure Quantum will pave the way to using quantum computing resources that will speed up the solving of future subproblems. “We are building our quantum simulation platform exactly with this in mind: leveraging the power of today’s classical computers for solving intractable chemistry problems while preparing everything to be augmented by quantum computers down the road,” expressed Arman Zaribafiyan, Head of Quantum Simulation at 1QBit.
Stay tuned for exciting new developments in quantum simulation using QEMIST Cloud. To be considered for alpha user access when it becomes available, please contact us.