The University of Tokyo (UTokyo) and IBM have made a significant stride in quantum computing by launching Japan’s inaugural IBM Quantum System One, featuring a 127-qubit IBM Quantum Eagle processor.
The system, operational through the Quantum Innovation Initiative (QII) Consortium, marks a milestone for quantum research in various fields, including bioinformatics, high-energy physics, materials science, and finance.
The deployment of the 127-qubit IBM Quantum Eagle processor represents the region’s premier utility-scale processor. IBM defines ‘utility-scale’ as the threshold at which quantum computers become instrumental scientific tools capable of exploring a new realm of problems. This achievement follows IBM and UC Berkeley scientists’ groundbreaking research published in Nature in June, showcasing quantum computers’ ability to yield results surpassing 100 qubits, surpassing leading classical approaches.
Hiroaki Aihara, Executive Vice President at UTokyo, expressed, “For the first time outside North America, a quantum computer with a 127-qubit processor is now available for exclusive use with QII members. This advancement expands the boundaries of simulation capabilities beyond what supercomputers can achieve, enabling large-scale, intricate calculations previously impossible without a quantum computer. Our goal is to drive research across diverse fields and facilitate the social integration of quantum-related technologies, contributing to a diverse and promising future society.”
UTokyo, part of the IBM Quantum Network since 2019, has been instrumental in broadening access to quantum computing in Japan. The Japan-IBM Quantum Partnership initiative, which included the QII Consortium in 2020, aims to accelerate collaboration among industry, academia, and government to elevate Japan’s position in quantum science, business, and education.
With the introduction of a utility-scale IBM Quantum System One, UTokyo joins IBM’s newly established working groups, including Healthcare and Life Sciences, High Energy Physics, Materials, and Optimization. These collaborations intend to leverage the system’s advanced hardware and error mitigation tools to explore quantum computing’s potential in diverse sectors.
Jay Gambetta, IBM Fellow and Vice President, IBM Quantum, remarked, “By providing UTokyo with a utility-scale IBM Quantum System One, we are eager to collaborate with QII Consortium organizations on challenges that are expected to stretch the boundaries of existing quantum systems. We aim to extract scientific and business value from these collaborations, marking a significant leap in quantum computing advancements.”