NEC to create hybrid quantum systems alongside D-Wave

Companies to look into developing services that combine Leap quantum annealing cloud with NEC supercomputers.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

Japanese tech giant NEC announced on Thursday it has teamed up with D-Wave to work on systems that combine the former's supercomputers with the latter's quantum annealers.

The pair will use D-Wave's Leap quantum cloud service as the basis for the hybrid services, which are said to have applications in transportation, materials science, and machine learning.

"The two companies will apply D-Wave's collection of over 200 early customer applications to six markets identified by NEC, such as finance, manufacturing and distribution," NEC said in a statement.

"The two companies will also explore the possibility of enabling the use of NEC's supercomputers on D-Wave's Leap quantum cloud service."

NEC and D-Wave will also work together on a number of marketing and sales activities to spur interest in hybrid quantum systems, with NEC parting with $10 million as an investment in D-Wave.

"By combining efforts with NEC, we believe we can bring even more quantum benefit to the entire Japanese market that is building business-critical hybrid quantum applications in both the public and private sectors," CEO of D-Wave Alan Baratz said.

"NEC is a proven pioneer of world-changing technology, and we're united in the belief that hybrid software and systems are the future of commercial quantum computing."

See also: This cloud service lets you use quantum and classical computing together to solve big problems

On Wednesday, NEC announced it had worked with researchers from the Tokyo Institute of Technology to develop a 28GHz phased-array transceiver that can support dual-polarised MIMO signals which could be used in 5G radios.

"Dual-polarised phased-array transceivers are an attractive class of antenna systems that can transmit data simultaneously through horizontal and vertical-polarised waves," the company said in a statement.

"Numerous studies have shown that dual-polarised MIMO can improve the data rate and spectrum efficiency in 5G radio units. However, one problem encountered with these systems is cross-polarisation leakage, which results in degradation of signal quality especially in the millimetre-wave band."

The research has improved the error vector magnitude from 7.6% down to 3.3%, with the transceiver measuring only 16 millimetres squared in area.

"The cancellation signals are generated for horizontal and vertical polarisation at the transmission side so that it can cancel the cross-polarisation leakage caused by all through the transmitter/receiver chip, package, printed circuit board and antenna," the researchers said.

Last week, NEC was appointed to build a 9,400-kilometre submarine cable that will connect Hong Kong, China's Guangdong province, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The same week, NEC Australia also announced the appointment of Mike Mrdak as the company's inaugural non-executive chairperson.

Mrdak was secretary of the Australian Department of Communications until February this year before the number of federal departments was reduced to 14.

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