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The D-Wave Advantage quantum annealer, Source: Forschungszentrum Jülich/ Sascha Kreklau

First quantum computer combined with a supercomputer in the world unveiled in Germany

First quantum computer combined with a supercomputer in the world unveiled in Germany

The highly-advanced technology system forms part of the Jülich Supercomputing Centre

Earlier today, EU and German officials attended the unveiling of a first-of-its-kind quantum computer in the world. What makes it unique is that it is combined with a supercomputer in order to increase the capability of the technological system to solve highly complex problems in various fields of life.

The new quantum D-Wave Advantage annealer (as the device is officially called) is part of the Jülich UNified Infrastructure for Quantum computing (JUNIQ), which was established in autumn 2019 to provide researchers in Germany and Europe with access to various quantum systems.

Quantum computers have the potential to solve many of life’s problems

Quantum computers are built to solve complex problems, as they can create multidimensional spaces to find patterns between many variable individual data points – something that classical computers are unable to.

Quantum computers, however, are difficult to build and require large investments. Scientists are of the opinion in order for such computers to be truly useful for humanity they will have to become quite large. Thus, it may take many years before this technology matures and evolves.

Nevertheless, today’s unveiling of the JUNIQ infrastructure is a powerful step in that direction. It can handle up to 1 million variables thanks to its 5,000-qubit system (the processor power of quantum computers is measured in qubits).

Special guests included Mariya Gabriel, EU Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Federal Minister of Education and Research, Bettina Stark-Watzinger, and Hendrik Wüst, Minister-President of North Rhine-Westphalia.

In the words of Commissioner Gabriel: “Quantum computers are crucial for the EU's technological and economic progress and for the competitiveness of European science and industry.”

The event marked the start of the practical development of quantum applications aimed at solving highly complex problems in various fields, which will be of great significance for industry, the public sector, and science in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, and Europe.

Quantum computation is not only something that exists in the theoretical and academic fields but can have, and it is already finding, real-life applications in spheres as diverse as traffic optimization, financial services, health care, logistics, manufacturing and supply chain efficiencies.

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