NTT Global Data Centers EMEA GmbH: Quantum technology and its requirements for data centers

Not only is the sheer volume of data stored and processed worldwide constantly increasing. The complexity of the tasks to be solved is increasing to the same extent. Portfolio optimization, risk management and fraud detection in the financial sector, the evaluation of network capacities in the energy industry or the development of new vaccines and drugs in the pharmaceutical sector are just a few examples. The race for even more powerful hardware with the aim of developing new applications or optimizing existing ones is becoming increasingly intense. Now it is entering a new dimension: quantum computing.


Until now, all further developments in the hardware sector have been based on classic digital technology. Technically, interfaces changed and power requirements varied, but basic parameters such as cooling to 20-25 degrees Celsius, power connections with 230/400V or infrastructure with fiber optic or copper cables remained the same. NTT colocation data centres are ideally prepared for these requirements: The companies are given space in a secure, highly available environment. Their own hardware can be quickly and easily connected to the infrastructures of carriers or public cloud providers. In Europe, NTT Global Data Centers EMEA offers highly available data centers at seventeen locations. In the Rhine-Main region alone – with Europe’s largest Internet hub in Frankfurt – more than 65,000 m2 of space is available. All NTT data centers guarantee an uninterruptible power and emergency power supply, redundant cooling and air conditioning systems, a central security management system and comprehensive fire-fighting and fire protection systems. But do they also meet the requirements of quantum computers?

The use of quantum computers requires a general rethink. The qubits used can assume more states than „0“ and „1“, generating them requires a completely new technology and the resulting infrastructure requirements still have to be defined. There are no reliable standards yet, many questions are still open. Will quantum computers be adapted to existing standards or will separate standards be set which then have to be implemented?

In order to pave the way for a standardized use of space for quantum computers, NTT initiated a project in the Technology Experience Lab that brings together experts in classical data center infrastructure and specialists in quantum technology. The project uses the example of quantum applications, e.g. in the financial sector, to determine and research the framework conditions that a computer centre must offer in the future for the use of quantum computers and how these can be efficiently implemented:

  • Size of the parking space or rack and its access
  • Maximum distance between rack units during operation
  • Cooling temperature and coolant
  • Electromagnetic shielding
  • Flexibility in mixed operation with traditional hardware
  • Connection types and transmission speeds

The Technology Experience Lab provides a secure infrastructure for testing and validating innovative technologies and processes. More than 140 partners offer their technologies and applications in the Technology Experience Lab in this easy and quickly usable environment. Pre-built use cases allow you to experiment without making long-term commitments or jeopardizing a production environment. This platform is ideal for building and testing new options in quantum technology.

Companies that would like to get involved in this topic at an early stage are invited to contact the Technology Experience Lab project team.