Posts Tagged ‘Rigetti Computing’

D-Wave and NEC Advance Quantum Computing

June 22, 2020

IBM boasts of 18 quantum computer models, based on the number of qbits, but it isn’t the only player staking out the quantum market. Last week D-Wave, another early shipper of quantum systems, announced a joint quantum product development and marketing initiative with NEC, which made a $10 million investment in D-Wave.

D-Wave NEC Qauntum Leap

The two companies, according to the announcement,  will work together on the development of hybrid quantum/classical technologies and services that combine the best features of classical computers and quantum computers; the development of new hybrid applications that make use of those services; and joint marketing and sales go-to-market activities to promote quantum computing. Until quantum matures, expect to see more combinations of quantum and classical computing as companies try to figure out how these seemingly incompatible technologies can work together.

For example the two companies suggest that NEC and D-Wave will create practical business and scientific quantum applications in fields ranging from transportation to materials science to machine learning, using D-Wave’s Leap with new joint hybrid services. Or, the two companies might apply D-Wave’s collection of over 200 early customer quantum applications to six markets identified by NEC, such as finance, manufacturing and distribution.

“We are very excited to collaborate with D-Wave. This announcement marks the latest of many examples where NEC has partnered with universities and businesses to jointly develop various applications and technologies. This collaborative agreement aims to leverage the strengths of both companies to fuel quantum application development and business value today,” said Motoo Nishihara, Executive Vice President and CTO, NEC.

Also, NEC and D-Wave intend to create practical business and scientific quantum applications in fields ranging from transportation to materials science to machine learning, using Leap and the new joint hybrid services. The two companies also will apply D-Wave’s collection of over 200 early customer applications to six markets identified by NEC, such as finance, manufacturing and distribution. The two companies will also explore the possibility of enabling the use of NEC’s supercomputers on D-Wave’s Leap quantum cloud service.

“By combining efforts with NEC, we believe we can bring even more quantum benefit to the entire Japanese market that is building business-critical hybrid quantum applications in both the public and private sectors,” said Alan Baratz, CEO of D-Wave. He adds: ” We’re united in the belief that hybrid software and systems are the future of commercial quantum computing. Our joint collaboration will further the adoption of quantum computing in the Japanese market and beyond.”

IBM continues to be the leader in quantum computing, boasting 18 quantum computers of various qubit counts. And they are actually available for use via the Internet, where IBM keeps them running and sufficiently cold–a few degrees above absolute zero–to ensure computational stability. Quantum computers clearly are not something you want to buy for your data center.

But other companies are rushing into the market. Google operates a quantum computer lab with five machines and Honeywell has six quantum machines, according to published reports. Others include Microsoft and Intel. Plus there are startups: IonQ, Quantum Circuits, and Rigetti Computing. All of these have been referenced previously in earlier DancingDinosaur, which just hopes to live long enough to see useful quantum computing come about.

DancingDinosaur is Alan Radding, a veteran information technology analyst, writer, and ghost-writer. Follow DancingDinosaur on Twitter, @mainframeblog, and see more of his work at

IBM Introduces 53 Qubit Quantum Machine

September 23, 2019

IBM made two major system announcements within just a couple of weeks: On Sept. 18 IBM announced a 53 qubit guantum machine. The week before, IBM introduced its latest mainframe, the z15. Already buzz is circulating of a z16 in two years, about a normal release cycle for the next generation of  an IBM mainframe. 

Quantum computer up close
IBM’s largest quantum machine at 53 qubits

Along with the 53 qubit machine IBM announced the opening of a Quantum Computation Center in New York state. The new center expands, according to IBM, its fleet of quantum computing systems for commercial and research activity that exist beyond the confines of experimental lab environments. IBM’s offerings run from 5 to 10 to 20 to, now, 53 qubits. These are actual quantum machines hosted by IBM in the cloud, not just simulations. 

The IBM Quantum Computation Center will support the growing needs of a community of over 150,000 registered users and nearly 80 commercial clients, academic institutions and research laboratories to advance quantum computing and explore practical applications. To date, notes IBM, this  global community of users have run more than 14 million experiments on IBM’s quantum computers through the cloud since 2016, and published more than 200 scientific papers. To meet growing demand for access to real quantum hardware, ten quantum computing systems are now online through IBM’s Quantum Computation Center. The fleet is composed of five 20-qubit systems, one 14-qubit system, and four 5-qubit systems. Five of the systems now have a quantum volume of 16 – a measure of the power of a quantum computer used by IBM demonstrating a new sustained performance milestone.

IBM’s quantum systems are optimized for the reliability and reproducibility of programmable multi-qubit operations. Due to these factors, the systems enable state-of-the-art quantum computational research with 95 percent availability, according to the company.

Within one month, IBM’s commercially available quantum fleet will grow to 14 systems, including the new 53-qubit quantum computer, the single largest universal quantum system made available for external access in the industry to date. The new system offers a larger lattice and gives users the ability to run even more complex entanglement and connectivity experiments. Industry observers note that serious work requires a minimum of 200 qubits, probably just a couple more product intros away. 

Advances in quantum computing could open the door to future scientific discoveries such as new medicines and materials, vast improvements in the optimization of supply chains, and new ways computers to model financial data to make better investments. Examples of IBM’s  work with clients and partners, include:

  • J.P. Morgan Chase and IBM posted on arXiv,  Option Pricing using Quantum Computers, a methodology to price financial options and portfolios of such options, on a gate-based quantum computer. This resulted in an algorithm that provides a quadratic speedup, i.e. whereby classically computers need millions of samples, this methodology requires only a few thousands of samples to achieve the same result, It allows financial analysts to perform the option pricing and risk analysis in near real time. The implementation is available as open source in Qiskit Finance. 
  • Mitsubishi Chemical, Keio University and IBM simulated the initial steps of the reaction mechanism between lithium and oxygen in lithium-air batteries. Also available on arXiv,  this represents a first step in modeling the entire lithium-oxygen reaction on a quantum computer. Better understanding of this interaction could lead to more efficient batteries for mobile devices or automotive vehicles.

In the meantime IBM continues to simulate quantum algorithms on conventional supercomputers. According to one 2-year old report: at roughly 50 qubits, existing methods for calculating quantum amplitudes require either too much computation to be practical, or more memory than is available on any existing supercomputer, or both. You can bet that IBM or somebody else will push beyond 53 qubits pretty quickly. Google already claims a 72-qubit device, but it hasn’t let outsiders run programs on it. IBM has been making quantum available via the cloud since 2016. Other companies putting quantum computers in the cloud, include IBM’s Quantum Computation Center.IBM’s Quantum Computation Center. Others include  Rigetti Computing,  and Canada’s D-Wave

DancingDinosaur is Alan Radding, a veteran information technology analyst, writer, and ghost-writer. Follow DancingDinosaur on Twitter, @mainframeblog, and see more of his work at 

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