PINQ² introduces the Harfang computing platform

The Network for Digital and Quantum Innovation of Quebec (PINQ²), a charitable organization established in 2021 by the Ministry of Economy, Innovation and Energy of Quebec and the Université de Sherbrooke, has officially initiated the Harfang computational platform, one of the most potent in the area, in collaboration with Exaion, a Quebec-based subsidiary of Groupe EDF (Électricité de France). PINQ² will exclusively manage the Harfang infrastructure, which was installed at the Bellevue Data Centre in Sherbrooke and owned by Exaion. This facility, a global pioneer, boasts an environmentally conscious and decentralized setup and was purposely crafted for quantum integration.

The Harfang computational platform grants PINQ² the capability to deliver top-notch computing performance in addition to a mixed quantum computing platform. PINQ² will continue delivering its subsidized assistance to businesses in exploring the possibilities of digital and quantum technologies and innovations assimilated into their existing operations, targeting sectors like healthcare, particularly in the realm of molecular modeling for upcoming pharmaceuticals, as well as the energy, manufacturing, environmental, and sustainability sectors.

The Center of Excellence in Hybrid Quantum Software Engineering is managed by PINQ², a charitable organization founded by the Université de Sherbrooke and Ministry of Economy, Innovation and Energy of Quebec. Its aim is to assist organizations in hastening their digital transformation, to enhance cooperation, and to simplify technology transfers between industries and research, as well as train the future talents. Source: PINQ²

These amenities offer data ownership in accordance with industrial safety standards, along with tailored technological adaptability, enabling enterprises to leverage a vast array of services founded on hybrid quantum technology. This platform will harbor projects centered around artificial intelligence, advanced data analysis, simulation, and enhancement. Harfang’s computational capability will also tap into a Quandela quantum computer overseen by Exaion, and a quantum key distribution test setup managed by Numana.

Moreover, being a charitable entity, PINQ²’s initial funding from the MEIE, alongside the backing from partners like PROMPT and PRIMA, aids Quebec enterprises in diminishing the accessibility barrier to cutting-edge conventional and hybrid technologies.

Serving as the core of a vast digital transformation in Quebec, the integration of the Harfang computational platform provides Quebec businesses with the chance to expedite their digital evolution and foresee forthcoming technological breakthroughs to maintain competitiveness and cultivate their expertise. This presents added potential for notable advancements that tackle today’s global and societal issues. It also furnishes another exceptional opportunity for Quebec’s ecosystem to advance its proficiency in generating value through the application of highly sophisticated computing technologies, encompassing practical artificial intelligence, digital replicas, and top-tier computing.

Situated at the nucleus of the Humano District initiative, located in the former basement of the Grey Nuns convent, all emitted heat from the servers will be harnessed to heat all residences and structures within the Humano District.

“Our collaboration with Exaion, a pioneer in hybrid quantum solutions, will enable us to further assist Quebec enterprises in propelling their digital advancements and transformations”, stated Éric Capelle, Executive Director of PINQ². “We are equally proud to operate an ecologically conscious infrastructure and share these same principles with Exaion, augmenting an additional affirmative aspect to this fresh partnership.”

“We are immensely pleased to house, within our Sherbrooke data center, the Harfang computational platform; it signifies the notable strides Quebec has taken in amalgamating digital and quantum technologies”, uttered Fatih Balyeli, CEO and co-founder of Exaion. “With PINQ², our objective is to congregate, around this state-of-the-art infrastructure, a dynamic and innovative ecosystem dedicated to decarbonizing the industry. Collectively, we are paving the way for sustainable digital metamorphosis.”

This computational infrastructure has been christened Harfang, the French term for the Snowy Owl, paying homage to the creature that was officially recognized as a Quebec emblem in 1987. Its moniker alludes to the region’s northern continental essence, its feathers mirroring the white hue of winters, and its territory representing the extensive expanse of the province.


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