Finnish-German startup launches quantum computer for universities

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A new quantum computer was launched on Wednesday by a Finnish-German company for universities and research laboratories, reported Xinhua.

Developed by IQM Quantum computers (IQM), the "IQM Spark" also comes with training for running the system and learning materials, IQM said. In addition, universities will also have free maintenance for a year.

The computer is priced under one million euros, the company said.

"It's apparent that universities around the globe need critical tools like IQM Spark to train the workforce needed for the next generation," said Kuan Yen Tan, chief technology officer (CTO) at IQM.

Quantum computers work with qubits instead of bits from conventional binary computers, enabling more complex uses such as in artificial intelligence and machine learning. They need cryogenic technology to operate, where certain components are cooled to close to absolute zero (minus 273.15 degrees Celsius).

The "IQM Spark" has a 5-qubit quantum processing unit, "with more options available allowing for a wide variety of research experiments," according to the company.

"Given the potential of quantum computing, the ecosystem will require a wide range of talent across electronics, chip fabrication, hardware design, and software engineering," the CTO added.

The Leibniz Supercomputing Centre in Germany, which was among the first customers of IQM 5-qubit quantum computers, welcomed the launch. "IQM Spark will address three major challenges: availability, learning resources, and affordability," said Dieter Kranzlmueller, chairman of the center's board of directors.


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