IBM, Riken to Integrate Quantum Computer with Supercomputer

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

Berenice Baker

May 2, 2024

2 Min Read
IBM Quantum, the company's next-generation quantum computer architecture
Image: Ryan Lavine for IBM

This article originally appeared in IoT World Today.

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.

Related:Assessing the State of Quantum Data Centers: Promises vs. Reality

“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.

“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.”

Related:MIT Proposes Making Quantum Computers Easier to Program

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