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The two companies will work together on the development of hybrid quantum/classical technologies and services that combine the best features of classical computers and quantum computers; the development of new hybrid applications that make use of those services; and joint marketing and sales go-to-market activities to promote quantum computing.
The partnership will focus on the following areas:
1. Development of Hybrid Technologies and Services
o NEC and D-Wave will build on the existing hybrid tools of D-Wave's Leap quantum cloud service to develop hybrid services capable of solving large combinatorial optimization problems at high speed, by combining D-Wave's quantum annealing technology with NEC's supercomputers.
o The newly developed services will be available to customers of both companies through Leap.
2. Development of Hybrid Quantum Applications
o NEC and D-Wave will create practical business and scientific quantum applications in fields ranging from transportation to materials science to machine learning, using Leap and the new joint hybrid services.
o 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.
o The two companies will also explore the possibility of enabling the use of NEC's supercomputers on D-Wave's Leap quantum cloud service.
3. Marketing and Sales Activities
o NEC and D-Wave will conduct joint marketing activities, including conferences, media activities, training, use case collateral and quantum computing challenges later in 2020 to get enterprises started building hybrid quantum applications.
o The companies will also develop joint go-to-market programs to bring quantum computing further into the enterprise in Japan.
o NEC will also keynote Qubits, D-Wave's annual user conference. Qubits is an invite-only customer, partner and user event that brings the community of quantum pioneers together to share, learn and extend the practice of building quantum applications. Hosted in Fall 2020, Qubits will be a virtual event covering multiple time zones, including a focus on Japan Standard Time to ensure global access and benefit.
"We are very excited to collaborate with D-Wave. This announcement marks the latest of many examples where NEC has partnered with universities and businesses to jointly develop various applications and technologies. Our work with D-Wave has a special focus on developing hybrid quantum computing services and enhancing related hybrid quantum software applications, accelerating commercial-grade quantum solutions globally. This collaborative agreement aims to leverage the strengths of both companies to fuel quantum application development and business value today," said Motoo Nishihara, Executive Vice President and CTO, NEC.
"Japan has long been a global leader in quantum computing, from the advent of quantum annealing to today's continued commercial research and development. 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," said Alan Baratz, CEO of D-Wave. "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. Our joint collaboration will further the adoption of quantum computing in the Japanese market and beyond."
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