€1m buys IQM’s 5 qubit superconducting on-premises quantum computer

€1m buys IQM’s 5 qubit superconducting on-premises quantum computer

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

IQM Quantum Computers (IQM) in Finland is offering universities and research labs worldwide their own superconducting quantum computer system.

IQM Spark comes pre-installed with a 5qubit quantum processing unit, with more options available allowing for a wide variety of research experiments, with prices starting at €1m. It has also developed a 54qubit system.

IQM develops and makes its own quantum processors to build computer systems for users and for cloud-based services. It has delivered 5 qubit quantum computers to some universities and research institutions. These include the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre in Germany. The quantum computer at VTT has been connected to LUMI, Europe’s most powerful supercomputer, hosted by the CSC – IT Centre for Science.

To help universities kick-start their quantum program there will be free maintenance for one year. IQM will also provide training for running the system and learning materials accessible through IQM Academy, a user-friendly online platform. With IQM Spark, students of all levels (bachelor, master, and PhD) will have the opportunity to learn hands-on about quantum computing.

Universities can also provide their students with the skillset needed for a quantum-enabled future by using both hardware and software within the learning materials.

“Since our inception, we’ve invested in and promoted quantum education and the advancement of research, and it’s apparent that universities around the globe need critical tools like IQM Spark to train the workforce needed for the next generation,” said Dr Kuan Yen Tan, Chief Technology Officer and Co-founder of IQM.

“Given the potential of quantum computing, the ecosystem will require a wide range of talent across electronics, chip fabrication, hardware design, and software engineering. We are confident that our system will facilitate the learning experience and engage students with the physical system.”

Some of the institutions interested in the quantum computer system are in Germany.

“On-premises quantum hardware is only available from a very limited number of vendors. This fact alone makes it hard for us to provide this leading-edge hardware to our scientists. Pricing and missing learning resources make it even harder to make this leading-edge technology available for educational purposes for our students,” said Prof. Dr. Dieter Kranzlmüller, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre, which caters to all universities of Bavaria in Germany.

“IQM Spark will address three major challenges: availability, learning resources, and affordability. In that way, universities can give practical experience to the next generation of quantum computing experts,” he added.

“Making on-premises quantum computer hardware available to our scientists and students as a low-barrier resource will give a boost to scientific progress and educate the next generation of quantum experts. This paves the way for students in Bavarian universities, such as Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) and Technical University of Munich (TUM) students, to become entrepreneurs in the field of quantum technologies and live up to the excellence claim of the Munich universities,” he said.

“We’ve designed this offering for universities and research labs to build up their quantum expertise and we believe that our system will not only perform fundamental quantum experiments and raise interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) but we will also advance university science around quantum computing in general, while addressing the shortage of talent and providing value for the job market,” said Dr. Björn Pötter, Head of Product at IQM.

“VTT and IQM successfully collaborated in delivering Finland’s first quantum computer in 2021. The 5-qubit quantum computer enables users to take the first steps in developing quantum algorithms and learn how to utilise the new technology in practice”, said Pekka Pursula, Research Manager in Quantum Technologies at VTT, which spun out IQM.

IQM’s commercial quantum computers include Finland’s first commercial 54qubit quantum computer with VTT, IQM-led consortium’s (Q-Exa) HPC quantum accelerator in Germany, and IQM processors will also be used in the first quantum accelerator in Spain. IQM has over 280 employees with offices in Paris, Madrid, Munich, Singapore, and Espoo.

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