Amazon is opening a new Quantum Networking Research Center

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Since 2019, Amazon has been offering quantum computing via AWS Braket. Last year, the company established the AWS Center for Quantum Computing to offer competition to companies like Google and IBM. Now, the company has announced that it is opening AWS Center for Quantum Networking (CQN) with an aim of furthering its previous endeavors related to quantum technologies, including Quantum Computing.

Here, scientists and researchers will dedicate their focus on using new quantum technologies to develop hardware devices such as quantum repeaters and transducers, and software/apps necessary for the creation of global quantum networks. These networks will be able to connect quantum devices using single photons rather than laser beams that are currently in use. For this, however, there are some hurdles to overcome. Quantum mechanics limits the amplification of a single photon, which in turn restricts the range of a network.

CQN research scientists Denis Sukachev and Mihir Bhaskar wrote in a blog post, "The weakness of single photons complicates interfacing them with today’s quantum computing devices."

Quantum networks will leverage some technologies already deployed for modern optical communications, such as lasers, fibers, and detectors. However, instead of strong laser beams, quantum networks require single photons — smallest building blocks of light — to connect quantum devices together. Single photons enable many of the special capabilities of quantum networks and simultaneously pose the great challenge: quantum mechanics prohibits their amplification limiting the network range.

Sukachev and Bhaskar further elaborate that the potential applications of quantum networking are "enabling global communications protected by quantum key distribution with privacy and security levels not achievable using conventional encryption techniques. Quantum networks will also provide powerful and secure cloud quantum servers by connecting together and amplifying the capabilities of individual quantum processors."

With sizable funds and resources at its disposal, it is clear that Amazon is investing heavily in developing quantum networking, which like quantum computing, is a relatively new field.

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