IBM and Japan join hands in the development of quantum computers

Back in September, IBM Q announced a host of new tools catered to making quantum computing more accessible. Amongst the new additions were a bunch of 5-qubit quantum computers, which extended the IBM’s fleet of quantum computers.

Today, IBM has taken yet another step in the same direction. The tech giant IBM has partnered with the University of Tokyo forming the Japan – IBM Quantum Partnership to advance quantum computing and use it to benefit science, industry, and society. Essentially, the partnership will have three ‘tracks of engagement’:

…one focused on the development of quantum applications with industry; another on quantum computing system technology development; and the third focused on advancing the state of quantum science and education.

But one of the most marked developments under the agreement is that the IBM Q System One will be installed in an IBM facility in Japan. This feat will make Japan the third country to house such an installation after the United States and Germany, and the only one in the region to do so. Once in Japan, the System One will delve into research on quantum algorithms and the development of practical applications leveraging the power of the quantum realm.

Besides directly collaborating on research topics, IBM and the University of Tokyo will also establish a novel quantum system technology center under the same agreement. This center will be primarily focused on developing and testing hardware for quantum computers and in particular, will focus on cryogenic and microwave test capabilities for the same.

Vis-à-vis the initiative, the Director of IBM Research, Dario Gil, was hopeful that it will lead to the expansion of quantum computing in Japan and have various added advantages:

“This partnership will spark Japan’s quantum research capabilities by bringing together experts from industry, government and academia to build and grow a community that underpins strategically significant research and development activities to foster economic opportunities across Japan.”

While the President of the University of Tokyo, Makoto Gonokami, emphasized the relevance of quantum computing and what the initiative entails for Japan:

“Quantum computing is one of the most crucial technologies in the coming decades, which is why we are setting up this broad partnership framework with IBM, who is spearheading its commercial application. We expect this effort to further strengthen Japan’s quantum research and development activities and build world-class talent.”

As such, in addition to all of the above, the University of Tokyo will also be giving high priority to quantum programming and technical development of its students and researchers to help push the envelope of quantum computing.


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