Japanese Team Wins Prime Minister’s Award with 64-Qubit Quantum Computing Platform

A Japanese consortium of research partners including RIKEN, the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), Osaka University, Fujitsu Limited, and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) have been recognized with the prestigious Prime Minister’s Award as part of the 53rd Japan Industrial Technology Awards for the successful development of a high-performance computing platform that leverages Japan’s second domestically-made superconducting quantum computer.

The platform leverages Japan’s second domestically-made 64-qubit superconducting quantum computer, which has been offered on the cloud since October 2023 to promote its use for commercial industrial research and development, and jointly developed by Fujitsu and RIKEN based on the know-how for the development of the first domestically-made 64-qubit superconducting quantum computer released in March 2023 by the joint research group.

The research group offered Japan’s first superconducting quantum computer under a joint research agreement for non-commercial use for the purpose of promoting and developing research and development in quantum computation and other fields. RIKEN and Fujitsu also unveiled Japan’s second superconducting quantum computer, based on the technology of the first superconducting quantum computer, on the cloud for industrial research and development in 2021, two and a half years after they established the RIKEN RQC-Fujitsu Collaboration Center.

These milestones highlight the rapid progress and innovative potential of Japan’s original quantum technologies, which are now demonstrating the ability to withstand the demands of the first stages of industrial application. One particularly promising technology is the superconducting quantum bit chip design proposed by RIKEN, which uses a unique three-dimensional mounting layout with scalability that can support expansion to the 1,000-qubit level.

RIKEN and Fujitsu’s superconducting quantum computer is provided as part of a hybrid quantum computing platform that also supports Fujitsu’s 40-qubit quantum simulator, which remains one of the largest scale simulators in the world (1). This platform implements a scalable cloud architecture that allows seamless operation of both quantum computers and quantum simulators to promote and accelerate adoption and collaboration between various companies.

The platform was highly praised at the 53rd Japan Industrial Technology Awards for its technological capabilities (originality and advancement), and for marking an important step toward the industrial use of quantum computers based on Japan’s unique quantum technology, and for its connection to efforts to expand the search for practical applications for quantum technology in various fields such as materials, finance, and drug discovery by providing a combination of quantum computing and quantum simulators to companies to engage in joint research projects.

In the future, the platform is anticipated to stimulate further research and development of quantum applications and accelerate the practical application of quantum computing technologies for both hardware and software, offering access to companies engaged in research in various fields.

The joint research group will continue to promote the social implementation of quantum computing by leveraging the strengths of each organization.

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