Amazon Has its Eyes on Quantum Computing, but Not on Quantum Hardware…Yet

So far, among the tech giants, Amazon has been conspicuously absent from the Quantum Computing sector. Until May 27, 2021, Amazon had only one patent asset in the sector, while companies like Google have 80 and IBM has over 300. Four applications published for Amazon on May 27, suggesting an increased interest for Amazon in the quantum computing market. The published applications are in line with Amazon Braket, which launched in late 2019 and allowed developers to experiment with quantum processing via AWS. 

So far, Amazon Braket has been using quantum processing provided by D-Wave, IonQ, and Rigetti, which likely means that it is capable of utilizing computers with a variety of qubit types. D-Wave and Rigetti are likely providing superconducting quantum computers and IonQ is likely providing trapped-ion quantum computers. The applications reflect this, largely focusing on the cloud and edge technology, rather than on quantum hardware. For now, it seems that Amazon is happy with essentially owning the quantum-cloud integration space and isn’t trying to enter the more competitive area of hardware development.

Don’t count on Amazon staying out of hardware forever. As time goes on, Amazon may find that building its own hardware is more profitable in the long run. Amazon has certainly branched out into weirder industries. Patent Forecast® will be actively monitoring whether Amazon begins to indicate a firm commitment to a particular qubit type or branches into hardware. Keep up by following the Quantum Computing Patent Forecast®!