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IBM To Partner With Japanese Business And Academia To Advance Quantum Computing

IBM To Partner With Japanese Business And Academia To Advance Quantum Computing
A research partnership with Japanese industry was launched on Thursday by the United States based tech firm International Business Machines Corp (IBM) with the aim of accelerating advances in quantum computing. This partnership further deepens ties between the two countries in a field that it both emerging and sensitive.
According ot the partnership deal, cloud-based access to IBM's US quantum computers will be gained by members of the new group that includes Japanese firms such as Toshiba Corp and Hitachi Ltd. The members of the partnership will be able to gain access to a quantum computer, known as IBM Q System One, which is expected to be set up by IBM in Japan within the first half of the next year.
The University of Tokyo will be the place where the "Quantum Innovation Initiative Consortium" will be based out of and will also include Toyota Motor Corp, financial institutions and chemical manufacturers. In addition to increasing Japan's quantum skill base, the initiative will also help member companies to develop a variety of uses of the technology.
This effort is being initiated after an agreement between IBM and the university that was signed last year to enhance mutual cooperation in quantum computing. According to analysts, this new age technology has the potential to supersede today's supercomputers by making use of the properties of sub-atomic particles.
"We're trying to build a quantum industry," Dario Gil, director of IBM Research, told the media. "It's going to take these large scale efforts."
This partnership between the US and Japan comes at a time when the US and its allies are competing with China in the race to develop quantum technology. This is the technology that hold the key to engineer significant advances in the areas of artificial intelligence, materials science and chemistry, believes experts from the field.
"We have to recognise quantum is an extremely important, competitive and sensitive technology and we treat it as such," Gil said.
IBM also has plans to bring a quantum computer to Germany and set up partnership with an applied research institute in the country, IBVM had announced last September.
IBM has set a target of at least doubling the power of its quantum computers every year. The tech giant is also hoping to transform its systems into a service powering corporations' operations behind the scenes.
Quantum computers rely on superconductivity that can only be achieved in temperatures close to absolute zero, making developing viable systems a formidable technical challenge.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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