Electronic Products & Technology

PINQ² launches the Harfang computing platform

EP&T Magazine   

Electronics Engineering PINQ²

The Platform for Digital and Quantum Innovation of Quebec unveils one of the most powerful of the region

The Platform for Digital and Quantum Innovation of Quebec (PINQ²), a non-profit organization (NPO) founded in 2021 by the Ministry of Economy, Innovation and Energy of Quebec and the Université de Sherbrooke, has officially launched the Harfang computing platform, one of the most powerful of the region, in partnership with Exaion, a Quebec-based subsidiary of Groupe EDF (Électricité de France). PINQ² will exclusively operate the Harfang infrastructure, whose installation took place in the Bellevue Data Centre located in Sherbrooke and belonging to Exaion. This centre, a world first, is equipped with an environmentally responsible and decentralized infrastructure and was specifically designed for quantum hybridization.

The Harfang computing platform offers PINQ² the ability to provide high performance computing (HPC) in addition to a hybrid quantum computing platform. PINQ² will thus continue bringing its subsidized support to companies as they discover the potential of digital and quantum technologies and innovations integrated into their current processes, and will do so by targeting specific sectors such as healthcare, particularly in regards to molecular modelling for future drugs, in addition to the energy, manufacturing, environment, and sustainable development sectors.

The Center of Excellence in Hybrid Quantum Software Engineering is operated by PINQ², a non-profit organization created by the Université de Sherbrooke and Ministry of Economy, Innovation and Energy of Quebec. Its mission is to support organizations in accelerating their digital transformation, to enhance collaboration, and to simplify technology transfers between industries and research, in addition to training the talents of tomorrow. Source: PINQ²

These facilities offer data sovereignty that is in line with industrial security standards, as well as customized technological flexibility, thereby enabling companies to benefit from a wide range of services based on hybrid quantum technology. This platform will host projects developed around artificial intelligence, advanced data analysis, simulation, and optimization. Harfang’s computing power will also have access to a Quandela quantum computer managed by Exaion, and to a quantum key distribution test bench operated by Numana.

Furthermore, PINQ² being a non-profit organization, its initial financing provided by the MEIE, as well as the support of its partners, such as PROMPT and PRIMA, allow Quebec companies to lower the access barrier to the best conventional and hybrid technologies.


Quebec being at the heart of a vast digital shift, the addition of the Harfang computing platform offers Quebec companies the opportunity to accelerate their digital transformation and to better anticipate new technological breakthroughs in order to remain competitive and develop their own expertise. This represents additional potential for major advances that respond to today’s global and social challenges. This is also another excellent opportunity for Quebec’s ecosystem to develop its know-how in order to create value through the use of highly advanced computing technologies, including applied artificial intelligence, digital twins, and high performance computing.

Located at the heart of the Humano District project, established in the former basement of the Grey Nuns convent, 100% of the heat emitted by the servers will be recovered to heat all apartments and buildings of the Humano District.

“Our partnership with Exaion, a leader in hybrid quantum solutions, will enable us to further support Quebec companies in the development of their digital innovations and transformations”, stated Éric Capelle, Executive Director of PINQ². “We are also proud to operate an environmentally responsible infrastructure and to share these same values with Exaion, which adds another positive dimension to this new collaboration.”

“We are very delighted to host, within our Sherbrooke data centre, the Harfang computing platform; it symbolizes the significant progress Quebec has made in integrating digital and quantum technologies”, stated Fatih Balyeli, CEO and co-founder of Exaion. “Our objective with PINQ² is to bring together, around this state-of-the-art infrastructure, a dynamic and innovative ecosystem dedicated to decarbonizing the industry. Together, we are paving the way for sustainable digital transformation.”

This computing infrastructure has been named Harfang, the French name of the Snowy Owl, as a nod to the bird that officially become a Quebec symbol in 1987. Its name evokes the northern continental character of the region, its plumage the white colour of winters, and its territory the vast expanse of the province.



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