Riken Institute Plans Quantum-Supercomputer Hybrid by 2025

Japanese research center will work with Toyota Motor, Hitachi and Sony Group to promote hybrid solutions
Berenice Baker
Berenice Baker

January 4, 2023

A data center lit in blue
The Riken Institute will connect the Fugaku supercomputer to a quantum computer. Getty

Japan's Riken research institute has announced it will create a powerful quantum-classical hybrid computer by connecting the world’s second-fastest supercomputer, known as Fugaku, to a quantum computer.

The move aims to deliver real-world quantum computing power for Japanese companies to develop novel drugs and materials, among other applications, by 2025.

Most quantum computing technologies require processors to operate at temperatures close to absolute zero, necessitating bulky refrigeration equipment that is incompatible with existing data centers. Riken intends to get around this by operating the quantum computer from a separate facility to Fugaku and tapping its processing power over a communications link.

Fugaku will process the bulk of the calculations and only offload the algorithms that quantum technology solves more efficiently to the quantum computer. Fugaku will then assemble the results to deliver the solution.

Riken plans to launch an alliance of companies including Toyota Motor,

Hitachi and Sony Group in 2023. The group will promote the use of quantum/classical hybrid computing infrastructure and the best way to balance the processing workload between the quantum computer and Fugaku.

Fugaku is a petascale supercomputer developed by the government-backed institute and Fujitsu. Fujitsu also operates a 39-qubit quantum simulator on a supercomputer that uses the same CPU as Fugaku.

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