During a press conference on November 15, 2021, German Federal Minister for Education and Research Anja Karliczek announced the beginning of the Q-Exa consortium, an ambitious project aimed at accelerating European quantum computing technologies with the assistance of traditional high-performance computing (HPC).
Q-Exa brings together experts from academia and industry to deploy a 20-qbit “quantum demonstrator” at the end of 2023 and integrate it into the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre’s (LRZ’s) HPC ecosystem. LRZ, one of the 3 centres comprising the Gauss Centre for Supercomputing, is partnering with quantum computer hardware company IQM, software developer HQS, and supercomputer manufacturer Atos. The project is funded with €40 million and will run for 3 years.
LRZ Director Prof. Dr. Dieter Kranzlmüller indicated that in addition to developing applications for quantum computing, Q-Exa also serves as an important milestone on the path to exascale computing—the next major milestone is traditional HPC, representing a 40-fold increase in supercomputing power from LRZ’s current flagship computer, SuperMUC-NG.
“At LRZ, we are focused on more than just faster computers—we are looking at new ways of computing, and have been developing and implementing our integrated supercomputing architecture,” he said. “The Q-Exa project fits in perfectly with our goals in that regard, and also serves as a foundational piece to our Quantum Integration Centre and the Munich Quantum Valley. With Q-Exa, we are able to enhance our current large-scale computing resources with this quantum demonstrator.”
Kranzlmüller also emphasized that by participating in a co-design project with IQM and HQS, LRZ would be able to bring its decades of experience in bringing new computing technologies to science and industry to a new disruptive computing technology, ensuring that these systems are designed with users from academia and industry in mind and that applications can be ported and scaled to take advantage of the promise of quantum computers.
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