Fortune 500 fuel IBM quantum computing quest
IBM has revealed the first clients to tap into its IBM Q early-access commercial quantum computing systems to explore practical applications in business and science.
The names include JPMorgan Chase, Daimler, Samsung, Barclays, Honda, Oxford University and University of Melbourne.
As reported in May, IBM said it built and tested its most powerful universal quantum computing processors – i.e. IBM Q. At that time, it was looking to find solutions in supply chains, modelling financial data, and risk analysis; making facets of artificial intelligence (AI) such as machine learning more powerful; or using the laws of quantum physics to enhance the security of private data in the cloud.
Dario Gil, vice-president of AI and IBM Q, IBM Research, says it 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 12 initial organisations join the newly formed IBM Q Network, which comprises Fortune 500 companies, academic institutions and national research labs.
This network provides expertise and resources, and cloud-based access to 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. The company says it anticipates that access to this prototype will be offered to network participants in the next generation IBM Q system.
It is also introducing IBM Q Consulting, which brings together consultants, scientists and industry experts to “deliver customised roadmaps to help them become quantum ready”.
The firm is establishing five regional hubs for developing all of this. The hubs are located at IBM Research in the US, Keio University in Japan, Oak Ridge National Lab in the US, Oxford University in the UK, and the University of Melbourne in Australia.
In addition, as reported in September, IBM is already working with MIT to explore the intersection of quantum computing and machine learning as part of the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab.