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The EPFL partners with IBM in quantum computing

Monday 8 July 2019

The EPFL will be part of the IBM Q Network, which will give the university access to additional computing power that can be used for several research projects, ranging from energy to health.

IBM has announced it has selected the EPFL to be part of its "Q Network", a network of institutions and companies that can access its quantum computing resources. This technology is still being developed in a few laboratories, but IBM wants to be at the forefront in this field. The EPFL will have access to IBM quantum computers, along with eight other universities, including the ETHZ.

"Our objective is to stimulate research through these partnerships, as well as to understand how quantum computing can be used. Our prototypes are already being used in the fields of finance, chemistry and even video games," says James Robin Wootton, a researcher at IBM in Zurich. The American multinational does not just work with universities, also carrying out research projects with companies such as the oil company ExxonMobil or the JPMorgan bank.

Remote calculation

Like other universities, the EPFL will have free access to the computing power offered by quantum computing. This will be done remotely, with IBM retaining control of its machines.

"This partnership is crucial and will accelerate our research projects," explains Mihai Adrian Ionescu, professor at the Laboratory of Nanoelectronic Devices at EPFL. "The computing power IBM will offer us will open up new opportunities in research for health, energy and the environment, for example. What was unthinkable until now will become possible".

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