Canada will receive its first universal quantum computer from IBM

Quantum computers are still so rare that simply installing a system in one country is a breakthrough, and IBM are taking advantage of that novelty. The company has partnered with the Canadian province of Quebec to install what it says is Canada’s first universal quantum computer. The 5-year deal will see IBM install a Quantum system one is part of the Quebec-IBM Discovery Accelerator project to address scientific and commercial challenges.

The group will see IBM and the government of Quebec promote microelectronics work, including progress in chip packaging thanks to an existing IBM facility in the province. The two also plan to show how quantum computers and classical computers can work together to solve scientific challenges, and expect quantum-powered AI to help discover new medicine and material.

IBM did not say exactly when it would install the quantum computer. However, this will only be the fifth Quantum One installation planned for 2023 following similar partnerships in Germany, Japan, South Korea and the US. Then Canada is joining a relatively exclusive club.

The country is no stranger to quantum computing. Controversial company D-Wave based in Canada, after all. IBM’s move is significant, though. It gives Canada a more general system that can overcome problems that are impractical to solve using conventional supercomputers. This won’t necessarily revolutionize Canada’s scientific community, but it could give it an edge until quantum computing is relatively commonplace.

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