Japan gets second quantum computer through Fujitsu and Riken

6 Oct 2023

Japan's latest quantum computer. Image: Fujitsu

The two organisations have created a new quantum computer and a simulator to improve research into how to mitigate the errors these powerful machines are prone to.

Japan has received a new quantum computer, thanks to a partnership between the Riken research institution and multinational company Fujitsu.

The new quantum computer consists of 64 qubits – quantum bits – and is accompanied by a 40 qubit quantum computer simulator developed by Fujitsu. The Japanese company said this combination will lead to a platform for “hybrid quantum computing”.

Quantum computers are immensely powerful machines that are able to solve problems far beyond the capabilities of normal computers to tackle. But these quantum machines are currently prone to errors, brought on by a variety of factors.

It is hoped that this hybrid platform will allow easy calculation comparisons of noisy intermediate-scale quantum (NISQ) computers against error-free results from quantum simulators, in order to improve research into error mitigation algorithms.

Fujitsu and Riken will provide the new platform to customers and to companies and research institutions that are conducting joint research with the two organisations.

The new 64 bit quantum computer is located at the Riken RQC-Fujitsu Collaboration Centre. It leverages the technology of Japan’s first quantum computer, which was announced by Riken in March of this year.

Fujitsu and Riken aim to develop the technologies for a 1,000 qubit superconducting quantum computer, as well as new technology to achieve more precise quantum gate operations.

Yukihiro Okuno, a Fujitsu senior research scientist, said the organisation will also continue to develop “innovative materials” through the application of quantum computing.

“We anticipate that the ultrafast computing power of quantum computers enables unprecedented high-precision chemical calculations, which will greatly contribute to materials development,” Okuno said. “Fujifilm will leverage the new hybrid quantum computing platform to research the effects of noise on current quantum computing results.”

Last year, Fujitsu CTO Vivek Mahajan said he believes the quantum revolution is “years away, not decades”. He also said these machines will be a “game changer” of the future.

10 things you need to know direct to your inbox every weekday. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of essential sci-tech news.

Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic