Japanese telecommunications operator SoftBank and the University of Tokyo have initiated a joint research collaboration to explore the business applications of quantum computers. In an effort to strengthen industry-academia collaboration, SoftBank has joined the Quantum Innovation Initiative Consortium (QII Consortium), which is operated by the University of Tokyo.
The collaboration plans to utilize the IBM Quantum System One, a quantum computer equipped with a 127-qubit processor, to conduct research and development for the business utilization of quantum computing technology. The quantum computer will be installed at the Kawasaki Business Incubation Center (KBIC). Additionally, SoftBank and the University of Tokyo aim to integrate the system with mobile communication technologies such as 5G, IoT, and future 6G systems, in order to contribute to the implementation of quantum computers in society.
The QII Consortium, established to foster an ecosystem of quantum computing technologies, facilitates research and development activities related to quantum computing. SoftBank is currently conducting use case validations for quantum computing in various fields, including quantum chemistry, quantum machine learning, and optimization.
Hiroaki Aihara, executive vice president of the University of Tokyo, expressed the university’s goal for Japanese researchers to lead in application development in the era of quantum computing, utilizing a quantum computer with a 127-qubit processor installed in Japan.
SoftBank’s Ryuji Wakikawa, vice president and head of the Research Institute of Advanced Technology, emphasized the company’s commitment to contributing to quantum research in Japan and advancing research and development for the practical use of quantum computing. SoftBank envisions the integration of quantum computers into its next-generation social infrastructure to accelerate society’s digitalization.
Earlier this year, SoftBank collaborated with Keio University on quantum computing research, specifically in the field of quantum chemistry. This research aims to analyze molecules and nuclei using quantum mechanical analysis, which can be more efficiently computed by quantum computers compared to classical computers. SoftBank will dispatch researchers to the Keio University Quantum Computing Center to conduct simulations using Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum (NISQ) computers, with the goal of investigating chemical phenomena and validating NISQ use cases for societal implementation.
– SoftBank Press Release
– University of Tokyo Press Release