Japan pursues quantum computing with Atos’ new machine

By William Girling
French tech company Atos has announced that its first Quantum Learning Machine (QLM) has been delivered to Japan. Currently the highest-performing quan...

French tech company Atos has announced that its first Quantum Learning Machine (QLM) has been delivered to Japan.

Currently the highest-performing quantum simulator in the world, Atos’ QLM was built to meet the advanced computing demands of the modern tech and research sectors. The machine has been sold and delivered by Intelligent Wave Inc, the company’s APAC distributor. 

Quantum computing has taken on great precedence in Japan, which has so far invested approximately US$1.18bn (¥130bn) in research projects, with the objective of creating remarkably accurate computers to revolutionise its economy, industry and security. 

Next-gen computing

The QLM is a powerful combination of compact design, advanced manufacturing and a universal programming language; it enables computer engineers to experiment with quantum software simulating the laws of physics, yielding a much higher rate of accuracy.

Nourdine Bihmane, Head of Growing Markets and Head of B&PS Public & Regional at Atos, remarked that the QLM opens up exciting possibilities to the user and was grateful that Japan had recognised the value of Atos’ machine.

“We’re delighted to have sold our first QLM in Japan, thanks to our strong working partnership with Intelligent Wave Inc. We are proud to be part of this growing momentum as the country plans to boost innovation through quantum. 


“Japan understands that quantum research requires a long-term vision and nurtures innovation at every level to build its future success in the field.

“The Atos Quantum Learning Machine enables businesses to develop and experiment with quantum processes and delivers superior simulation capabilities to speed innovation,” he said.

Championing disruptive innovation

One of Japan’s R&D initiatives for developing quantum computing capabilities, named Moonshot (due to its high risk, high impact philosophy of ambitious goals), has been established by the Japan Science and Technology Agency to drive disruptive innovation.

The foreseeable applications of this research - documented here - are not just limited to scientific or commercial uses, but also humanitarian deployments, such as suitably addressing climate change by 2050 (Goal 4) and creating sustainable food supplies (Goal 5).

Research proposals for Moonshot have been protracted but not stalled by the COVID-19 disruption. The programme’s ultimate goal of harmonising technology with human life is a prescient and important one, which warrants close attention as the project develops.

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