IBM expands quantum computing program to Africa

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In a bid to accelerate quantum research and drive educational opportunities in quantum computing in Africa, global technology company, IBM, has collaborated with the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits University) in South Africa to drive expansion of its quantum computing program in the continent.

Quantum computing is the area of study focused on developing computer technology based on the principles of quantum theory, which explains the nature and behavior of energy and matter on the quantum (atomic and subatomic) level.

Wits University is the first African partner on the IBM Q Network and will be the gateway for academics across South Africa and to the 15 universities who are part of the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA).

“This is the latest outcome of the joint partnership between IBM Research and Wits, which started in 2016 when IBM opened its second lab in Africa in Wits University’s Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct in Johannesburg. To expand the IBM Q Network to include Wits will drive innovation in frontier-technologies and benefit African-based researchers, academics and students who now have access to decades of quantum computing capabilities at the click of a button,” said Zeblon Vilakazi, deputy vice-chancellor: research and postgraduate affairs, Wits University.

Quantum computing promises to be able to solve certain problems – such as chemical simulations and types of optimisation – that will forever be beyond the practical reach of classical machines. IBM first made quantum computers available to the public in May 2016 through its IBM Q Experience quantum cloud service and has doubled the power of its quantum computers annually since 2017.

IBM established the IBM Q Network, a community of Fortune 500 companies, startups, academic institutions and research labs working with IBM to advance quantum computing and explore practical applications for business and Read More...