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IBM, Riken to Integrate Quantum Computer with Supercomputer

On-premises IBM Quantum System Two installation aims to accelerate hybrid application development

Berenice Baker, Editor, Enter Quantum

May 1, 2024

2 Min Read

IBM and Japanese national research laboratory Riken have announced plans to install an IBM System Two quantum computer on site at the Riken Center for Computational Science in Kobe, Japan.

The system, powered by a 133-qubit IBM Quantum Heron processor, would be co-located and integrated with Fugaku, the world’s second most powerful supercomputer after the HPE Frontier.

The new hybrid architecture aims to support Riken’s “development of integrated utilization technology for quantum and supercomputers” project, funded by Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization.

Riken plans to use the IBM Quantum System Two architecture to demonstrate the advantages of hybrid computational platforms for deployment as services in the future post-5G era. Riken is collaborating with SoftBank Corp., the University of Tokyo and Osaka University on the project.  

Quantum high-performance computing (HPC) collaborative platform division director at the Riken Center for Computational Science Mitsuhisa Sato said today’s advanced current noisy intermediate-scale quantum (NISQ) era quantum computers are moving into the practical stage as the number of qubits grows and the fidelity improves.

“From HPC’s point of view, quantum computers are devices that accelerate scientific applications conventionally executed on supercomputers and enable computations that cannot yet be solved by supercomputers,” Sato said.

Related:Fujitsu, AWS, Riken, partners launch Japan’s third quantum computer

“Riken is committed to developing system software for quantum-HPC hybrid computing by leveraging its comprehensive scientific research capabilities and experience in the development and operation of cutting-edge supercomputers, such as Fugaku.”

IBM will also develop the software stack to generate and execute integrated quantum-classical workflows in the quantum-HPC hybrid computing environment. According to the company, these new capabilities aim to deliver improvements in algorithm quality and execution times.

“As the first quantum system that will directly connect with the Fugaku classical supercomputer, IBM's agreement with Riken marks a monumental milestone in the journey towards a future defined by quantum-centric supercomputing,” said IBM Fellow and IBM Quantum vice president Jay Gambetta.

“This work will advance the industry towards a modular and flexible architecture that combines quantum computation and communication with classical computing resources so that both paradigms can work together to solve increasingly complex problems.”

Riken Fugaku Quantum Timeline

Related:Riken to Add Quantinuum System Model H1 to Quantum Hybrid Platform

June 2022: Fujitsu showcased Fugaku at the AI Summit London.

November 2022: Riken announced plans to create a quantum-classical hybrid computer by integrating Fugaku with a quantum computer.

July 2023: In an Enter Quantum interview, head of the Fujitsu Research quantum laboratory Shintaro Sato discussed how the company had developed a quantum simulator using the same chip as Fugaku.

January 2024: Quantinuum said it planned to integrate its H1 series ion-trap quantum computer on-site at Riken to integrate it with Riken’s HPC technology, including Fugaku.

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About the Author(s)

Berenice Baker

Editor, Enter Quantum

Berenice is the editor of Enter Quantum, the companion website and exclusive content outlet for The Quantum Computing Summit. Enter Quantum informs quantum computing decision-makers and solutions creators with timely information, business applications and best practice to enable them to adopt the most effective quantum computing solution for their businesses. Berenice has a background in IT and 16 years’ experience as a technology journalist.

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