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IBM’s first quantum data center in Europe

We’re reimagining quantum computing on the cloud with IBM’s first quantum data center in Europe, based in Ehningen, Germany.

IBM’s first quantum data center in Europe

6 Jun 2023

Ismael Faro

Today, we’re announcing that IBM will build its first European quantum data center, and first outside the US, at the IBM facility in Ehningen, Germany, available for cloud access in 2024.

As an entirely new computational paradigm, cloud-based quantum computing still carries some practical questions: How do you efficiently run a program across quantum and classical resources? What if those resources and data are spread across the world, governed by different data privacy laws and considerations? Routing quantum-classical compute workflows around the world while delivering a seamless experience to the end user is no small task.

So, alongside the data center launch, we’re developing a new software integration layer to help answer these questions. Once we bring the European quantum data center online, we will introduce the multichannel scheduler: a layer to manage access and resources across different regions and channels.

A channel can be a partner or institution that handles their users access and/or data and can combine with their own or third party classical resources to develop and integrate quantum into their own advance compute solutions.

With the European IBM Quantum data center, the client can ensure their data is handled and processed solely in Europe.

Today, institutions are exploring quantum computing in a variety of ways, generating their own specific needs. Some are hoping to extract business value by running quantum algorithms or building their own quantum software, or integrating quantum solutions into classical applications.

Others are interested in exploring the frontiers of science on the latest in quantum computing hardware. Some might be processing critical job data governed by data security policies or regional laws, while others are running experiments that simply require whichever resources can be provisioned soonest.

The multichannel scheduler

The multichannel scheduler is a layer that sits between the user, their cloud services, and the quantum data centers. It serves to facilitate user access to multi-region computing that uses the IBM Qiskit Runtime primitives to run quantum programs — with the advantage of incorporating quantum resources from different regions depending on their needs or constraints, such as data sovereignty.

This approach allows our clients and cloud providers in each of our quantum regions to employ classical services to run some of our middleware for quantum tools like circuit knitting

Circuit knitting techniques allow us to partition large quantum circuits into subcircuits that fit on smaller devices, incorporating classical simulation to “knit” together the results to achieve the target answer. Read more.

, and having access to our newest innovations like dynamic circuits. And the end user will still be able to run multi-cloud workflows incorporating other cloud service providers. The multichannel scheduler communicates with each of these channels while routing quantum workflows to the appropriate geographies.

The multichannel scheduler is especially important for users concerned about where their data is stored and processed. It starts the journey towards quantum computation as a stateless service, where the data ownership remains with our users. With the European IBM Quantum data center, the client can ensure their data is handled and processed solely in Europe.

Pictured: The multichannel scheduler will connect the IBM Qiskit Runtime service across different regions with each channel"  and in the graph, we can replace for this one, to show "multichannel scheduler api.

Pictured: The multichannel scheduler will connect the IBM Qiskit Runtime service across different regions with each channel.

The multichannel scheduler will allow for the use of IBM Quantum systems in both the US quantum data center as well as the new European quantum data center regardless of where they’re submitting code from. Users in Europe can continue exploring early prototype systems provided only in the US data center and, when ready, to apply those lessons learned to Europe-only systems.

The scheduler is the central piece to our mission to bring useful quantum computing to the world. It will provide a quantum experience tailored to the needs of the more than 60 European organizations in the IBM Quantum Network, plus our Europe-based pay-as-you-go clients. And it will continue to connect organizations around the world to quantum computing resources on the cloud through our quantum computing centers in the US, Europe, and any centers we build in the future.

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