Use of prototype quantum computer opened up to outsiders

A prototype quantum computer being developed in Japan will be made freely available from Nov. 27 to allow more engineers the chance to improve it.

The National Institute of Informatics and other research agencies hope to commercialize a domestic quantum computer by the end of fiscal 2019 in the face of intensifying global competition.

“We will seek to further improve the prototype so that the quantum computer can eventually tackle the various problems that are out there in society,” said Yoshihisa Yamamoto, the program manager for the research group.



Japan launches its first quantum computer

Japan has unveiled its first quantum computer prototype, amid a global race to build ever-more powerful machines with faster speeds and larger brute force that are key towards realising the full potential of artificial intelligence.

Japan’s machine can theoretically make complex calculations 100 times faster than even a conventional supercomputer, but use just 1 kilowatt of power – about what is required by a large microwave oven – for every 10,000 kilowatts consumed by a supercomputer.

Launched on Monday, the creators – the National Institute of Informatics, telecom giant NTT and the University of Tokyo – said they are building a cloud system to house their “quantum neural network” technology.