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Japan’s NEC becomes first global reseller of D-Wave’s Leap quantum cloud service

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NEC Corporation announced that NEC has become the first global reseller of D-Wave’s Leap quantum cloud service. In addition to reselling quantum cloud access through Leap, NEC will initially provide quantum consulting services in Japan, as well as professional services internationally, starting in Australia, then gradually expanding to new markets in the 38 countries where Leap is available today.

This joint go-to-market will extend NEC’s deep quantum experience with enterprises developing quantum computing use-cases and in-production applications, while furthering the rapidly expanding usage of D-Wave’s cloud-based quantum computing and quantum hybrid solver services.

As expectations for digital business increase, enterprises are looking to quantum computing to help solve problems that cannot efficiently be solved by classical computing within a practical timeframe or for economic reasons. In response, NEC began collaborating with D-Wave in 2020(1) and has utilized Leap to promote applied research in a variety of areas, including delivery planning, personnel management, manufacturing planning, and portfolio creation for a range of customers across diverse industries.

The features of Leap and support services provided by NEC include the following:

Quantum Cloud Access via Leap

  • Flexible cloud access, which is easy to use for anyone in the 38 countries where Leap is available today, and provides NEC customers with the only service delivering real-time access to quantum computers and hybrid quantum solvers.
  • NEC’s clients will have access to the Advantage quantum system, which leverages more than 5,000 qubits and 15-way qubit connectivity, in addition to an expanded quantum hybrid solver service that can run problems with up to one million variables. The combination of the computing power of Advantage and the scale to address real-world problems with the hybrid solver service in Leap enables businesses to run performant, real-time hybrid quantum applications.
  •  NEC’s global customers can work directly with their account teams to benefit from cloud-based quantum computing via Leap.
  •  Quantum annealing and ever more powerful quantum hybrid solvers are proving to be the best quantum systems for optimization problems, which make up a wide range of complex business problems.
  • An integrated developer environment (IDE) and Ocean software development kit (SDK)(2) are part of Leap and can be coded utilizing Python, without any previous knowledge of quantum computing.
  • With flexible access, developers and businesses can get started today building in-production hybrid quantum applications. Flexible purchase plans allow developers and forward-thinking businesses to access the D-Wave quantum system in a way that works for them and their business.
  • Leap offers educational resources, demos, sample code, example use cases, and a growing community of likeminded developers, all building quantum applications and interested in sharing their learnings, accelerating adoption.

Support Services in Japan

  • Supporting Q&A in Japanese on how to leverage Leap, gain real-time access to a quantum computer, and begin building hybrid quantum-classical applications.

Professional Services

  • NEC will also offer customers a phased, “get-started” program, built on the D-Wave Launch program. This program is a four-phased process designed to help enterprises go from problem discovery through production implementation. NEC will offer all elements of the D-Wave Launch program, including professional services support, access to the Leap quantum cloud service, and training.
  • Customers of NEC will also be able to purchase seats in D-Wave’s training courses, teaching users how to use the quantum computers and quantum hybrid solvers to build business-scale, in-production quantum applications.

Going forward, NEC and D-Wave will develop and seek to expand the classical hybrid services in Leap, combining powerful simulated annealing systems like the NEC Vector Annealing Service on SX-Aurora TSUBASA(3) into the hybrid workflows. This collaboration will add even more value to enterprises, helping them solve increasingly larger-scale optimization problems.

D-Wave is the only company in the world building both annealing and gate-based quantum computers. By offering both annealing and gate-model quantum computers, the company will impact the lifecycles of industry. In pharmaceuticals, annealing systems will ensure patient trial optimization, while gate-model systems will assist with drug discovery. In manufacturing, new meta materials will be designed with gate-model systems, while factory automation improvements will deliver those new products to market more efficiently using quantum annealing. The company’s mission is to bring quantum computing to business and society, today. Customers are already seeing business value. Applications include peptide design, employee scheduling, last-mile vehicle routing, paint shop scheduling, financial portfolio return optimization, farm-to-market food delivery, digital marketing, Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) materials development, financial risk reduction, marketing campaign optimization, shipping container logistics, ribonucleic acid (RNA) folding, and clinical trial optimization.

NEC has a long history of work in quantum computing and, along with D-Wave, was one of the world’s first companies to successfully manufacture quantum bits, which are at the core of quantum computers. The company is also participating in projects led by the Japanese government and conducting research activities for the practical application of quantum computers. In 2020, NEC established a “Quantum Computing Promotion Office” to explore use cases for solving business issues at various companies by engineers who are familiar with quantum computing technologies and AI.

NEC will provide these new services to various customers in fields such as finance, manufacturing, logistics, and academia, and will promote the use of quantum computing and contribute to the resolution of social issues.

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