IBM collaborates to accelerate quantum computing
By Digital News Asia December 26, 2017
- IBM scientists, engineers and consultants working directly with organisations
- IBM Q Consulting helps envision business through value quantum computing tech
An IBM quantum scientist walks across the IBM Q computation centre at the TJ Watson Research Center in New York, US. The new centre houses IBM’s most advanced quantum computers, accessed via IBM Cloud by IBM Q Network clients. (Photo by Connie Zhou)
IBM announced on 14 Dec the first clients to tap into its IBM Q early-access commercial quantum computing systems to explore practical applications important to business and science. They include JPMorgan Chase, Daimler AG, Samsung, JSR Corporation, Barclays, Hitachi Metals, Honda, Nagase, Keio University, Oak Ridge National Lab, Oxford University and University of Melbourne.
These 12 initial organisations join the newly formed IBM Q Network, a collaboration of leading Fortune 500 companies, academic institutions and national research labs working directly with IBM to advance quantum computing. The IBM Q Network will also foster a growing quantum computing ecosystem based on IBM's open source quantum software and developer tools.
The IBM Q Network provides organisations with quantum expertise and resources, and cloud-based access to the most advanced and scalable universal quantum computing systems available, starting with a 20 qubit IBM Q system.
IBM also recently built and measured the first working 50 qubit prototype processor. IBM anticipates that access to this prototype will be offered to IBM Q Network participants in the next generation IBM Q system.
"IBM sees the next few years as the dawn of the commercial quantum era - a formative period when quantum computing technology and its early use cases develop rapidly. The IBM Q Network will serve as a vehicle to make quantum computing more accessible to businesses and organisations through access to the most advanced IBM Q systems and quantum ecosystem," said Dario Gil, vice president of AI and IBM Q, IBM Research.
"Working closely with our clients, together we can begin to explore the ways big and small quantum computing can address previously unsolvable problems applicable to industries such as financial services, automotive or chemistry. There will be a shared focus on discovering areas of quantum advantage that may lead to commercial, intellectual and societal benefit in the future."
Exploring practical quantum applications for industry
Organisations will work directly with IBM scientists, engineers and consultants to pioneer quantum computing for specific industries and have direct cloud-based access to IBM Q systems.
Each of the IBM Q Network Partners below will explore a broad set of potential applications of quantum computing in their industry that could provide a quantum advantage – demonstrations of real-world problems that may be solved faster or more efficiently with a quantum computer than with a classical computer.
• JPMorgan Chase will be the premier global financial services partner with IBM, focusing on use cases for quantum computing applicable to the financial industry including trading strategies, portfolio optimisation, asset pricing and risk analysis.
• Daimler AG will work with IBM to advance the potential use cases of quantum computing for the automotive and transportation industry. Some areas of research include finding and developing new materials for automotive application through quantum chemistry, complex optimisation problems, such as for manufacturing processes or vehicle routing for fleet logistics or autonomous/self-driving cars, and the intersection of quantum and machine learning to enhance the capabilities of artificial intelligence.
• Samsung, working closely with IBM, will explore a variety of use cases where quantum computing may impact the future of the semiconductor and electronics industry.
• JSR Corporation, a leading chemical and materials company, will explore how quantum computing can improve materials for electronics, environmental and energy applications.
"Joining the IBM Q Network allows us to bring our technologists alongside IBM's researchers and leverage cutting-edge quantum systems to learn about how we may be able to apply these technologies in the future," said JPMorgan Chase’s chief information officer Lori Beer.
"The intelligently connected car of the future requires computing capabilities not available today. We believe that quantum computing could be a crucial element in creating sustainable and highly efficient mobility," said Ola Källenius, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Group Research & Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.
"By joining the IBM Q Network and having access to quantum systems and world-class expertise, we hope to take part in unveiling the unexplored potential of quantum computing and pave a road forward for future commercial applications ," said Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology vice president Seongjun Park.
"JSR is excited to join the IBM Q Network to explore how quantum computing may impact the materials industry and address chemical challenges that are beyond the reach of today's classical computing. Working with IBM, JSR scientists will focus on computational chemistry and pave a road forward for potential commercial applications," said president of JSR Corporation Nobu Koshiba.
Also, IBM Q Network Members Barclays, Hitachi Metals, Honda and Nagase will build their knowledge of general approaches to quantum computing and begin to investigate potential use cases for their industries of finance, materials, automotive and chemistry respectively.
Next page: Bringing quantum computing to the world