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cointelegraph 2023-11-27 18:11:54

IBM brings ‘utility-scale’ quantum computing to Japan as China and Europe struggle to compete

Experts predict the global quantum computing sector will have grown from about $930 million in 2023 to $6.5 billion by 2030, but some global markets may be better poised for growth than others. IBM announced the completed installation of a 127-qubit quantum computing system at the University of Tokyo on Nov. 27. According to the company, this marks the arrival of the first “utility-scale” quantum system in the region.[Article] The University of Tokyo Completes Installation of 127-Qubit IBM Quantum Eagle Processor— UTokyo | 東京大学 (@UTokyo_News_en) November 27, 2023 The system, dubbed a “Quantum System One” by IBM and featuring the company’s Eagle processor, was installed as part of an ongoing research partnership between Japan and IBM. According to a blog post from IBM, it will be used to conduct research in various fields, including bioinformatics, materials science and finance.Per Hiroaki Aihara, executive vice president of the University of Tokyo:“For the first time outside North America, a quantum computer with a 127-qubit processor is now available for exclusive use with QII members… By promoting research in a wide range of fields and realizing social implementation of quantum-related technologies, we aim to make a broad contribution to a future society with diversity and hope.”While Japan and the University of Tokyo reap the benefits of working with a U.S. quantum computing partner, China’s second-largest technology firm, Alibaba, has decided to shutter its own quantum computing laboratory and will reportedly donate its equipment to Zhejiang University.Local media reports indicate the Alibaba move is a cost-cutting measure and that dozens of employees associated with the quantum research lab have been laid off. This follows the cancellation of a planned cloud computing spinoff earlier this month, with Alibaba stating that the partial United States export ban on computer chips to China has contributed to “uncertainty.”Related: US official confirms military concerns over China’s access to cloud technologyThe quantum computing sector is expected to grow by more than $5.5 billion between 2023 and 2030, according to estimates from Fortune Business Insights. This has led some experts to worry over the state of quantum computing research in areas outside of the U.S. and China.Koen Bertels, founder of quantum computing accelerator QBee and a professor at the University of Ghent in Belgium, recently opined that Europe had already lost the artificial intelligence race and couldn’t afford to lose at quantum computing.“In addition to being behind in funding, talent, and strategy,” wrote Bertels, “Europe isn’t only competing against the US.”

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