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Saudi Arabia’s first quantum computer on its way after Aramco, Pascal deal

Aramco and Pasqal officials at the signing ceremony for the deal. Supplied.
Aramco and Pasqal officials at the signing ceremony for the deal. Supplied.
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20 May 2024 11:05:17 GMT9
20 May 2024 11:05:17 GMT9

Arab News

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s first quantum computer is set to be installed after energy giant Aracmo signed an agreement with computing firm Pasqal.

Under the deal, the French company will install, maintain and operate a 200-qubit device, scheduled for deployment in the second half of next year, according to a press statement. 

A quantum computer uses qubits to run multidimensional algorithms, and these machines are capable of solving complex problems faster than traditional computers.

Ahmad Al-Khowaiter, executive vice president of technology and innovation at Aramco, said the deal with Pasqal is expected to bring high-performance information processing to Saudi Arabia. 

“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,” said Al-Khowaiter. 

He added: “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.” 

The quantum computer that will be installed in Saudi Arabia 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 resolve more complex tasks, the statement added. 

The agreement follows a memorandum of understanding signed between Aramco and Pasqal in 2022 to collaborate on quantum computing capabilities and their applications in the energy sector.

Georges-Olivier Reymond, CEO and co-founder of Pasqal, noted that the agreement would see the commercial adoption of quantum computers in the Kingdom. 

“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,” said Reymond. 

Earlier this month, Aramco also signed three MoUs with US firms, including Aeroseal, Spiritus, and Rondo, to accelerate the development of potential lower-carbon solutions.

In May, Aramco also announced its financial results for the first three months of this year. 

The company revealed that its net profit reached $27.27 billion in the first quarter, representing a rise of 2.04 percent compared to the last quarter of 2023.

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