ICHEC receives world’s highest-performing commercially available quantum simulator

Deployment of Atos QLM E to boost national quantum learning platform
Credit: ATOS

22 December 2020

The Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC) has received the world’s highest-performing commercially available quantum simulator, the GPU-accelerated Quantum Learning Machine Enhanced (QLM E), from Atos. The Atos QLM E offers up to 12 times more computation speed than the original Atos QLM.

ICHEC is the National High-Performance Computing (HPC) Centre which manages the Irish national supercomputer ‘Kay’. The Atos QLM E will be integrated with the Kay and equipped with a variety of quantum software programming tools. As a hybrid HPC-quantum computing environment, the integrated Kay-Atos QLM E platform will serve the Quantum Programming Ireland (QPI) initiative for conducting research and development, and national-level skills development activities in quantum technologies by ICHEC, as well as other Irish organisations in academia, enterprise and the public sector.

Once the Atos QLM E is delivered on-site, Atos will provide a fast-track training programme. Atos will also provide ongoing system enhancements to ensure that the simulator delivers the functionality required in the fast-moving discipline of quantum computing.




“As Ireland’s high-performance computing authority, we’re committed to using the power of technology to solve some of the toughest challenges across the public, academic and enterprise sectors,” said Prof Jean-Christophe Desplat, director at ICHEC. “Working with a number of partners in Europe, we look forward to utilising the Atos QLM E related for R&D on a number of scientific and industry-relevant quantum computing use-cases and supporting scientific breakthroughs in high-performance computing.”

Agnès Boudot, senior vice president, head of HPC & Quantum at Atos, said: “As the first Atos QLM E deployed globally, this partnership marks an important milestone in our quantum programme. We look forward to supporting ICHEC in its quantum journey, helping explore the huge potential that quantum computing offers. The simulator will support a scalable, future-proof, framework for the porting of hybrid applications and for the training and skills development of Irish researchers, and ICHEC’s partners across Europe.”

Atos QLM E has been optimised to drastically reduce the simulation time of hybrid classical-quantum algorithms simulations, leading to quicker progress in application research. ICHEC is advancing quantum computing platforms and programming. The QPI Initiative set-up by ICHEC in 2018 was designed to advance:

  • Development of practical applications on currently available quantum computing platforms (hardware and software simulators)
  • Research and development in software to enable programming quantum computing platforms
  • Education and training for the academic and enterprise communities

The quantum simulator is an integral component of the NEASQC project, in the €1 billion European flagship quantum initiative, of which Ireland is a partner along with 11 other European companies and research labs, and which is coordinated by Atos.

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