Quantum computing: Toyota joins forces with Israeli Quantum Machines

Japanese auto giant Toyota has tapped Israel’s Quantum Machines, through its business arm Toyota Tsusho Corporation, for a partnership that will develop future quantum capabilities and bring Japanese customers the multinational corporation access to quantum technologies, the parties said in early July.

Founded in 2018 by award-winning quantum electronics experts, Doctors Itamar Sivan, Yonatan Cohen, and Nissim Ofek, Quantum Machines has built the Quantum Orchestration Platform (QOP), a hardware and software solution for operating quantum systems to facilitate the research and enable future breakthroughs.

It has also developed QUA, a standard universal language for quantum computers that the startup says will allow researchers and scientists to write programs for various quantum computers with unified code.

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When announcing its $50 million funding round last September, Quantum Machines said it already provides control and orchestration systems for quantum computing to customers in 15 countries, including multinationals, government labs, academic institutions and quantum development start-ups.

Mr. Sivan stated by e-mail to the Times of Israel that the new partnership will allow Toyota Tsusho to offer its customers Quantum Machines’ flagship OPX+ solution, which it described as “a hardware system developed from the ground up for quantum and designed to meet the extremely high demands of quantum control, especially in terms of precision, synchronization, complexity and ultra-low latency”.

The solution “will enable control of quantum computing hardware using QUA, a flexible, high-level programming language that enables quantum practitioners to intuitively program even the most complex quantum programs,” he explained. .

“Access to QM’s state-of-the-art quantum control system will allow Toyota Tsusho customers to develop quantum computing capabilities in-house. The advantage of QM’s solution is that it covers a large part of the stack, including software and hardware. With this highly integrated approach, it will be much easier for organizations with quantum aspirations to develop fully functioning quantum computers,” Sivan added.

The field is relatively new and hugely complex, but experts say quantum computing could benefit industries like cybersecurity, materials and pharmaceuticals, banking and finance, or advanced manufacturing, likely to drive massive developments. in broad areas such as economics, security, engineering or science.

Quantum computing harnesses quantum mechanics to quickly solve problems too complex for classical computers. Quantum computers process exponentially more data than classical computers, using quantum bits, or qubits, the basic unit of quantum information.

Whereas classical computers perform logical operations based on one of two positions – 1 or 0, on or off, up or down – quantum computers can hold qubits in “superposition,” a principle of quantum mechanics that they are both simultaneously. In this state, quantum computers “can sift through a large number of potential outcomes simultaneously,” according to an explanation from MIT Technology Review.

These computers also work through a concept called “entanglement,” in which pairs of qubits exist in a single quantum state. “Quantum computers harness the qubits entangled in a kind of quantum daisy chain to work their magic. The ability of these machines to speed up calculations using specially designed quantum algorithms is why there is so much interest in their potential,” according to the magazine.

Tech giants like Google, Microsoft, IBM, and Intel are all racing to make quantum computing more accessible and build additional systems, while countries like China, the United States, Germany, India and Japan are investing millions in developing their own quantum capabilities.

IBM’s Quantum System One, the world’s first embedded quantum computing system. (Credit: IBM)

According to recent market projections, the global quantum computing market size is estimated to be $487.4 million in 2021 and is expected to reach $3.7 billion by 2030.

Japan first introduced its quantum innovation and technology strategy in 2020, then launched eight R&D centers to accelerate research the following year. Earlier in 2022, the Japanese government announced a new plan to have the nation’s first quantum computer operational by March 2023.

This vision “aims at the positive evolution of society by integrating quantum technology into social and economic systems, which will create opportunities for industrial growth and a carbon neutral society, as well as the resolution of social problems such as those raised by the SDGs [Objectifs de développement durable définis par les Nations unies en 2015] “said the government.

Israeli Quantum Advances

In March, a team of Israeli researchers led by Professor Roee Ozeri of the Weizmann Institute announcement having built the country’s first quantum computer.

The device is one of about 30 quantum computers in existence around the world, at various stages, and one – of less than ten – to use ion traps, a cutting-edge technology that confines ions (molecules with net electric charge) in a small space using magnetic and/or electric fields. Trapped ions can form the basis of quantum bits, or qubits, the basic unit of quantum information.

Quantum computing Toyota joins forces with Israeli Quantum Machines

Optical elements needed to create laser pulses that can control trapped ions. (Credit: Freddy Pizanti)

In February, the Israel Innovation Authority and the Ministry of Defense declared that they would allocate almost 200 million shekels to develop a state quantum computer and lay the foundation for Israeli computing capability on the ground.

The budget will fund two parallel tracks, according to the information given.

The Israel Innovation Authority will focus on developing the infrastructure for quantum computing capability, which it said could include the use of foreign technology.

The Department of Defense’s Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D), meanwhile, will establish a national center with quantum capabilities that will work with academic, industry and government partners to develop a quantum processor, then a complete quantum computer.

The initiative is part of Israel’s National Quantum Science and Technology Program, launched in 2018 with a budget of 200 million shekels, later raised to 1.25 billion shekels.

The program was launched to facilitate relevant quantum research, develop human capital in the field, encourage industrial projects and invite international research and development cooperation.

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Quantum computing: Toyota joins forces with Israeli Quantum Machines

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