By Asia Education Review Team , Tuesday, 09 July 2024

Fujitsu & ANU Partner to Advance Quantum Computing in Australia

  • In a step that would most definitely strengthen quantum computing in Australia, Fujitsu and the Australian National University entered a Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation. This partnership represents joint commitment to drive local innovation and talent development in the fast-emerging quantum computing area.

    Several key initiatives have been anchored within the partnership. Critical to the agreement is access to Fujitsu's high-performance quantum systems and simulators, based in Japan, to which ANU researchers, academics, and industry professionals will gain access. The plans also involve establishing an on-site quantum computer at ANU to undertake hands-on research development with the local expert community a central resource.

    Fujitsu's Graeme Beardsell, EVP and Chief Executive Officer for the Asia Pacific, underlined the important role this collaboration would play toward the future of computing. "Our investment in quantum research, combined with strategic collaborations such as this with ANU, puts Fujitsu at the leading edge of the global race to develop the world's first fault-tolerant quantum computer", he said. Besides the technological development itself, Beardsell stressed the partnership at hand in unlocking new waves of innovation.

    In line with Australia's National Quantum Strategy to underpin research and national competitiveness in quantum this cooperation can exploit the upcoming opportunities and applications with quantum technologies. Part of this strategic alignment is Fujitsu's plan in collaboration with RIKEN to introduce a 256-qubit quantum computer by March 2025 and a quantum system featuring up to 1,000 qubits in the fiscal year 2026. These would be targeted milestones in keeping ANU at the forefront of quantum technological advancements.

    This is not limited to the provision of hardware; ANU would also be required to develop custom-made modules for teaching and training, using Fujitsu's quantum technologies. These are intended to strengthen Australia's quantum computing research and education ecosystem, with a view toward developing more quantum talent.

    According to Professor Lachlan Blackhall, ANU's Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation, this is a very interesting partnership that may benefit higher education and quantum computing. "This collaboration agrees with the commitment of the ANU toward progress in education on new emerging technologies such as quantum computing. This has the potential to foster the growth of a talented pool of quantum computing professionals in Australia", he said.

    He reflected on the broader implications of the partnership as one focused on leading Australia into founding research in quantum physics, paving the way to utilizing quantum research. Part of Fujitsu's quantum computing portfolio includes a hybrid platform strategy where a 64-qubit superconducting quantum computer is combined with a quantum simulator. This will address quantum bit errors by optimizing computing resources and hence algorithms through its AI-based computing workload broker.

    Moreover, it involves the development of new algorithms that will be used in chemistry, financial systems, and drug discovery, among others. Fujitsu has also delivered to Japan's AIST a gate-based superconducting quantum computer system; the quantum computer is supposed to scale to hundreds of qubits.

    The MoU between Fujitsu and ANU comes as a quantum leap toward the furtherance of research and education related to quantum computing in Australia. The declared undertaking to establish a robust framework for collaboration and innovation strives to put Australia at the forefront of quantum technology advancement worldwide.