Japan’s Sigma-i, a company formed to optimize the world with quantum computing technologies, and D-Wave Systems, provider of quantum computing systems, software and services, announced the companies have signed the largest-ever global quantum cloud contract. Sigma-i will offer quantum consulting services and access to the D-Wave 2000Q family of systems via D-Wave’s quantum cloud service, Leap, to companies, universities and research laboratories throughout Japan.
Customers will benefit from Sigma-i’s expertise in working with D-Wave’s quantum annealer. Quantum annealing is one type of quantum computing technology. The system finds solutions to complicated problems called combinatorial optimization problems, first identified by Hidetoshi Nishimori, professor of Tokyo Institute of Technology, and his student Tadashi Kadowaki of Denso Corporation. D-Wave’s quantum systems were inspired by Nishimori and Kadowaki’s research, and in 2010, the company sold the first commercially available quantum computer to Lockheed Martin.
Outside Japan, the Canadian company’s systems are being used by many of the world’s most advanced research laboratories and private sector enterprises, including USRA (sponsored by NASA and Google), Oak Ridge National Laboratory, defense contractors and specific to finance, Standard Chartered partnered with NASA-USRA on investigating capabilities of the D-Wave 2000Q quantum annealer focused on portfolio optimization.
Sigma-i’s services will incorporate best practices and application development methodologies, accelerating quantum technologies focused on manufacturing applications. This milestone contract will allow for both expansion of real-world quantum application development and further investigation, publication, and research and development.
“In Japan, many companies look forward to the real-world applications that quantum computing can and will bring,” said Masayuki Ohzeki, CEO of Sigma-i. “This contract couples our quantum expertise with D-Wave’s powerful quantum computing systems, bridging the gap between industry and academia, and ushering in a new era of quantum computing in Japan.”