Latest UpdatesJETRO assists D-Wave Systems Inc., a Canadian company which leads the development of quantum computing systems with its ongoing Japanese expansion

Nov 30, 2020

Logo of D-Wave Systems Inc.

D-Wave Systems Inc.External site: a new window will open. was established in 1999, with its head office in British Columbia, Canada. Since commercializing the world's first quantum computer using quantum annealing* technology in 2011, the company has focused on developing quantum computing systems and software that can solve complex problems in many different domains. And at the end of September 2020, D-Wave introduced the Advantage™ quantum computer with more than 5000 qubits and 15-way connectivity and new hybrid quantum solver services that enable customers to run business sized problems with up to one million variables.

The company’s quantum computing technology is available over the cloud in the Leap™ quantum cloud service. D-Wave’s technology is already used in various fields for large-scale combinatorial optimization problems and for machine learning applications, including drug discovery, molecular simulation, portfolio management, recommendation systems, route search in factories, and traffic flow control in cities. Many Japanese companies are also accumulating information about useful application examples, as they expand their knowledge and know-how.

To date, over 250 early applications have been run using D-Wave’s quantum technology, and their customer base includes both large enterprises like Lockheed Martin and Volkswagen, and research organizations like Jülich. In 2020, NEC and D-Wave announced that they would work together on the development of hybrid quantum/classical technologies and services that combine the best features of classical computers and quantum computers; the development of new hybrid applications that make use of those services; and joint marketing and sales go-to-market activities to promote quantum computing.

Sigma-i Co., Ltd., a venture company from Tohoku University and D-Wave, have been researching the use of quantum annealing for many applications, such as optimizing evacuation routes during a tsunami or other disasters, with participation by companies such as DENSO and Kyocera Corporation. In June 2019, D-Wave established D-Wave Japan Co., Ltd. in Tokyo to further expand its technology to society through industrial applications.

JETRO's Invest Japan Business Support Center (IBSC) provided consultations to D-Wave in areas including Japanese registration, tax, and labor issues, marketplace information, and introductions to Japanese service providers (tax accountants, real estate agencies).

Chips and internal structures of quantum computers

Chips and overview of the 2020 new "Model (Advantage)"

*Quantum Annealing: A type of quantum computer, originally conceived of in Japan, specialized for problems such as combinatorial optimization and machine learning. It uses superconducting quantum bits (qubits) in a cryogenic and ultra-high vacuum environment. Using the qubits’ superposition characteristics of 0 and 1, it realizes a high-speed calculation of the combinatorial optimization problem that is too complicated for the conventional computer. The term comes from "annealing" in the metalworking sector (Annealing: heat treatment to reduce hardness and improve ductility by removing the material’s internal stresses).

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