American multinational technology firm IBM on Tuesday said it was giving access to its quantum computing system via cloud to the country’s educational institutes.
Two institutes from Bengal — the Calcutta University and IIT Kharagpur — will have the cloud access to IBM’s quantum computing system.
The Calcutta University has been awarded an IBM Quantum Researchers Program Access Award for a project led by researcher Mrityunjay Ghosh under the guidance and supervision of Amlan Chakrabarti, professor and director of A.K. Choudhury School of IT, University of Calcutta. This is the first time such a facility is given to a student or faculty at an Indian university.
“Quantum computing is getting more and more exciting. Today there is a strong interest not only from the research community but most global technology majors including IBM and Google among others. With this partnership, students and researchers of our university will be able to connect with physical IBM quantum computing machines through a cloud interface,” Chakrabarti said.
He added that quantum computing being a multidisciplinary exercise, students and researchers from fields such as information technology, computer science, electrical engineering, mathematics, physics and applied physics from the university will benefit from the access.
Explaining the rising interest in the field, Chakrabarti said that through quantum computing, a higher scale of complex problems solving can be done which existing classical computing cannot achieve.
Financial modelling, predicting weather conditions, solving complex artificial intelligence and machine learning problems are among the areas where quantum computing is applicable.
“Quantum computing is a paradigm shifting technology that can power countless innovations in the future. By providing access to our system over cloud, IBM is enabling India’s brightest minds to learn the skills to prepare for this disruptive future,” said Gargi Dasgupta, director, IBM Research India and CTO, IBM Indian/South Asia.
IBM CEO Arvind Krishna in his quarterly earnings remarks (for Q1 2021) said quantum computing has the potential to unlock “hundreds of billions of dollars” for clients by the end of the decade.
The company has also announced a road map to build a 1000-plus qubit quantum computer by 2023.