Left to right: President Anders Bjarklev, DTU; Country Manager Peter Vermehren-Poulsen and Global Director Claus Larsen from Atos. Photo: Mikal Schlosser

DTU gets world’s most efficient quantum computer simulator

Thursday 13 Sep 18
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Anders Overgaard Bjarklev
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DTU is the first Danish University to be provided with a Quantum Learning Machine by Atos, global leader in digital transformation.

Equipped with a new computer capable of simulating future quantum computers, DTU researchers and students will be able to experiment with programming future quantum computers. This is the result of an agreement between DTU and international IT company Atos to establish a strategic partnership in the field of quantum computing and quantum learning.

DTU is the first university in Denmark and one of the first universities in the world to receive this computer. The University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria received a similar computer in July 2018. DTU will most likely get the quantum computer simulator in 2019.

The Atos Quantum Learning Machine—that simulates up to 41 quantum bits—offers a more realistic simulation than ever before. It is considered a breakthrough in this field of research and will give DTU the opportunity to prepare for the possibilities offered by the quantum computer—for example in the development of new molecular structures. This research is currently based on physical experiments.

At DTU, delighted researchers and students will now have the opportunity to work with the business community to develop and test tomorrow’s quantum programs and algorithms to be used in processing large data volumes, e.g. from Big Data, the Internet of Things, and artificial intelligence.

“The computer will enable DTU to experiment with the quantum computers that will most likely be around within a few years. This will give us a broader perspective and context with regard to quantum technology—everything from physical and material technology to how to program it,” says DTU President Anders Bjarklev.

Attractive partner for Atos
Atos is particularly keen to develop a quantum simulation platform to enable researchers to test algorithms and software for future quantum computers.

“As part of the Eurotech Universities Alliance, DTU is a very important strategic partner for Atos in Denmark. We are very excited to be able to bring the Atos Quantum Learning Machine to the Nordics and to encourage an innovative approach to teaching with state-of-the-art know-how says Harri Saikkonen, Managing Director Atos Nordics.

DTU is currently involved in research and development involving sensors, material simulation and data encryption. However, up until now the main people working in this field have been those working with materials, and physicists studying how to implement the physical quantum computer, this is now also of interest to computer scientists, according to Jan Madsen, Professor, Head of Section and Deputy Director of DTU Compute:

“The quantum computer simulator will be our teacher and a platform to prepare ourselves—for example—for how to formulate physical and chemical simulations of molecular structures. The hope is that—going forward—we’ll be able to use our gained knowledge to develop new medicines much faster, once quantum computers come on the scene.”