First quantum computer for industrial use in Europe


In Ehningen, politics and research jointly presented the first Q System One quantum computer model in Europe. The quantum computer, which IBM is promoting as a prototype for industrial use, calculates with 27 qubits and, according to the manufacturer, achieves a quantum volume of 32. This value indicates a general value for the performance of a quantum computer and, in addition to the number of quantum state systems (qubits) used, relates to other technical systems Parameters, such as their error accuracy and the number of program steps possible with them.

“There are more powerful but more unstable quantum computers in research. The Q System One is designed to be stable for industrial applications. Today this system is the most powerful quantum computer in Europe,” emphasized Martin Jetter, Chairman of the Management Board of IBM Germany.

The Fraunhofer Gesellschaft operates the computer system together with IBM. Chancellor Merkel gave the command to raise the curtain via live broadcast from Berlin. Fraunhofer President Professor Reimund Neugebauer reported that the first cooperation agreements with industrial and research partners have already been signed. The first hurdles, however, are getting to know software development for quantum computers and recognizing useful applications for quantum computers.

These could be found in the development of new chemical compounds and processes, or in quantum sensors, explained Peter Leibinger, manager of the Trumpf Group. The quantum computer Dr. Volkmar Denner as chairman of Bosch GmbH. New molecular structures and chemical compounds can be calculated in minutes with this technology, praised Dr. Martin Brudermüller as Chairman of the Board of Management of BASF. You will be able to optimize the logistics in traffic and also in the production lines in the plant, said Oliver Zipse, CEO at BMW. And Dr. Reinhard Ploss, Head of Infineon, hopes that the use of quantum computers will one day lead to the discovery of alternative fuels, drugs of the future and a deep understanding of the climate.

Technicians doing the final touches on the Q System One

(Image: IBM)

IBM first presented the Q System One model in early 2019. According to Martin Jetter, several dozen of this quantum computer are already in use in the USA and some can also be used via cloud access. For 2023, IBM is already announcing a stable and economically usable quantum computer with 1000 qubits. Until then, it is important to gain experience, to inspire creative minds for the quantum computer and to identify suitable applications, emphasizes Dr. Heike Riel, head of the IBM research laboratory in Rüschlikon, Switzerland. Conceiving quantum algorithms is currently still a research field.

“There are still capacities free,” said Professor Dr. Oliver Ambacher, head of Fraunhofer IAF (Institute for Applied Solid State Physics), under whose aegis the first quantum computer is running in Germany. The Fraunhofer Quantum Computing Competence Center also offers training programs for programming.


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