D-Wave and NEC join hands to expand quantum computing in Japan

Image via D-Wave

D-Wave, one of the front-runners in the commercialization of quantum computers, has partnered up with the Japanese electronics manufacturer NEC to push the envelope of hybrid quantum/classical technologies and services in Japan. Under the new partnership, NEC has made an investment worth $10 million in D-wave.

Both firms will combine the computational power of NEC’s systems with the quantum computing prowess of D-Wave’s systems. The end goal is to develop marketable, commercial hybrid applications while promoting quantum computing. Three domains will be targeted in particular⁠—Hybrid Technologies and Services, Hybrid Quantum Applications, and Marketing and Sales Activities. Some salient points are mentioned below, while complete details on the focus areas can be found here:

  • NEC and D-Wave will build on the existing hybrid tools of D-Wave's Leap™ quantum cloud service to develop hybrid services capable of solving large combinatorial optimization problems at high speed, by combining D-Wave’s quantum annealing technology with NEC’s supercomputers.

  • NEC and D-Wave will 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 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.

  • NEC will also keynote Qubits, D-Wave’s annual user conference. Qubits is an invite-only customer, partner and user event that brings the community of quantum pioneers together to share, learn and extend the practice of building quantum applications. Hosted in Fall 2020, Qubits will be a virtual event covering multiple time zones, including a focus on Japan Standard Time to ensure global access and benefit.

This is not the first time that Japan has entered the realm of quantum computing. Last year in December, we saw the Japan-IBM Quantum Partnership, which helped expand the deployment of IBM Q's quantum computers in the country. D-Wave has also been utilizing its quantum systems to help fight the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Back in March, the firm announced that it will be providing free access to its quantum computing systems via the Leap quantum cloud service for anyone helping to fight COVID-19.

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