(Munich/Ehningen, 01.06.2021) LMU Munich has recently secured the use of IBM’s quantum computer in Germany by contract. The researchers of the Computer Science Chair Mobile and Distributed Systems will thus be able to use the quantum computer “IBM Quantum System One” from June 1, 2021. The computer capacity will be mediated through Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and will be available to research institutes and the industry. The computer was inaugurated in Ehningen on June 15, 2021, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel attending, by Research Minister Anja Karliczek and the Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg Winfried Kretschmann.
Prof. Dr. Claudia Linnhoff-Popien, head of the Chair of Mobile and Distributed Systems at LMU’s IT Institute, and her research team in quantum computing are implementing the first real-world use cases from companies and running various algorithms to test the most suitable performance of the respective quantum computing hardware and to solve the use cases with quantum computers.
The IBM „Q System One“ joins the league of quantum computers on which the LMU research team is working, using 27 QuBits for parallel computing. The scientists also have up to 65 QuBits at their disposal for programming tasks in the USA, where they access other computers via the cloud.
The Q System One is currently being tested alongside three other computers as part of a quantum computing coding internship. At the end of this “Quantum Computing Optimization Challenge” programming internship, which involves four DAX companies and 27 students, initial results are expected in the summer and will be published in fall 2021.
The use of the IBM quantum computer in Germany is running in cooperation with the European lighthouse project PlanQK, of which LMU is a member. This project is developing a platform and ecosystem for quantum-assisted artificial intelligence. The PlanQK consortium is composed of 19 partners from industry and research. One of them is LMU’s Chair of Mobile and Distributed Systems, which has already conducted numerous industrial projects on quantum computing and AI.
In the PlanQK project, users will be able to access a quantum AppStore, developers will be able to use quantum platforms in a simple way, and specialists will provide concepts that make quantum computing easily accessible. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) is a sponsor of PlanQK and in May 2021 also extended financial support for the project as part of the German government’s Economic Stimulus and Future Package to enable further use cases of quantum computing in industry. The goal is that this should also create easy access to expertise and algorithms, especially for SMEs.