Quantum Tech

Aramco & Pasqal to deploy quantum computer in Saudi Arabia

20th May 2024
Harry Fowle
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Aramco has signed an agreement with Pasqal to install the first quantum computer in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The agreement will see Pasqal install, maintain, and operate a 200-qubit quantum computer, which is scheduled for deployment in the second half of 2025.

Ahmad Al-Khowaiter, Aramco EVP of Technology & Innovation, said: "Aramco is delighted to partner with Pasqal to bring cutting-edge, high-performance quantum computing capabilities to the Kingdom. In a rapidly evolving digital landscape, we believe it is crucial to seize opportunities presented by new, impactful technologies and we aim to pioneer the use of quantum computing in the energy sector. Our agreement with Pasqal allows us to harness the expertise of a leading player in this field, as we continue to build state-of-the-art solutions into our business. It is also further evidence of our contribution to the growth of the digital economy in Saudi Arabia."

Georges-Olivier Reymond, Pasqal CEO & Co-founder, said: "The era of quantum computing is here. No longer confined to theory, it's transitioning to real-world applications, empowering organisations to solve previously intractable problems at scale. Since launching Pasqal in 2019, we have directed our efforts towards concrete quantum computing algorithms immediately applicable to customer use cases. Through this agreement, we'll be at the forefront of accelerating commercial adoption of this transformative technology in Saudi Arabia.  This isn't just any quantum computer; it will be the most powerful tool deployed for industrial usages, unlocking a new era of innovation for businesses and society."

The quantum computer will initially use an approach called "analog mode." Within the following year, the system will be upgraded to a more advanced hybrid "analog-digital mode," which is more powerful and able to solve even more complex problems.

Pasqal and Aramco intend to leverage the quantum computer to identify new use cases, and have an ambitious vision to establish a powerhouse for quantum research within Saudi Arabia. This would involve leading academic institutions with the aim of fostering breakthroughs in quantum algorithm development — a crucial step for unlocking the true potential of quantum computing.

The agreement also accelerates Pasqal's activity in Saudi Arabia, having established an office in the Kingdom in 2023, and follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the companies in 2022 to collaborate on quantum computing capabilities and applications in the energy sector. In 2023, Aramco's Wa'ed Ventures also participated in Pasqal's Series B fundraising round.

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