D-Wave and NEC to Accelerate Commercial Quantum Computing

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Today D-Wave Systems announced the company has signed agreements with NEC Corporation to drive development of hybrid services that combine the best features of quantum and classical computers, and make it easy to incorporate quantum capabilities into integrated workflows. D-Wave and NEC plan to market and sell D-Wave’s Leap quantum cloud service, which includes hybrid tools and services, as well as new hybrid capabilities to be jointly developed. NEC has committed to invest $10 million in D-Wave. The collaboration will take effect upon the closing of NEC’s investment, which is subject to certain conditions.

The collaboration will focus on three key areas:

  • Hybrid Services: NEC and D-Wave will jointly develop hybrid services that combine the power of NEC’s supercomputers and other classical systems with D-Wave’s quantum technology. The two companies will provide their customers with price and performance characteristics superior to those provided by solely classical systems. This work also complements D-Wave’s existing tools and software for hybrid development, including D-Wave Hybrid, a simple open-source workflow platform for building and running quantum-classical hybrid applications available through Leap.
  • Application Development: NEC and D-Wave will work with customers to develop applications that harness the power of their collaborative hybrid systems and solve practical business and scientific problems across a variety of industries. This builds upon the 200+ early applications customers have developed using D-Wave’s systems in fields ranging from automotive and manufacturing to machine learning and materials science.
  • Sales & Marketing: NEC will be an authorized reseller of D-Wave’s Leap cloud service. Offerings include access to D-Wave’s ongoing hardware and software innovations, including the lower noise processor, Ocean SDK, and the next-generation Advantage system when it is available in mid-2020. The parties plan to jointly develop, market, and sell new hybrid capabilities.

Japan is the birthplace of quantum annealing and has remained a global leader in quantum application development. Across government, business, and academia, Japanese D-Wave customers have pushed real-world application development forward by tapping into quantum to start solving business-critical problems today,” said D-Wave’s chief product officer and EVP of R&D, Alan Baratz. “Our collaboration with global pioneer NEC is a major milestone in the pursuit of fully commercial quantum applications.”

The collaboration with NEC builds upon D-Wave’s existing traction in the high-impact Japanese market. Japanese customers include such market leaders as DENSO, Toyota Tsusho, Recruit Communications, Groovenauts, Sigma-i, Tohoku University, and more. To date, they have developed early applications in everything from manufacturing optimization to digital ad placement. NEC has a long-time reputation of bringing several technological “firsts” to the global market over the past century, making it an expert in pioneering new technologies with customer value at the fore. The collaboration with D-Wave gives NEC the unique ability to deliver practical quantum computing to their market through joint sales, marketing, and development.

Quantum computing development is critical for the future of every industry tasked with solving today’s most complex problems. Hybrid applications and greater access to quantum systems is what will allow us to achieve truly commercial-grade quantum solutions. In 1999, NEC succeeded in demonstrating the world’s first quantum bit device, and today we continue to drive the market as a leader in the IT and network fields,” said Motoo Nishihara, Executive Vice President, CTO, NEC Corporation. “D-Wave brings 20 years of leadership to bear both in hardware development and the identification of quantum-ready business and scientific applications. Our collaboration is aimed at fueling application development and business value today. In addition to the technological value of this partnership, customers will also be provided with great value and we look forward to building further on this collaboration.”

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