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December 14, 2017

Barclays, JPMorgan first to tap IBM quantum computing power

JPMorgan and Barclays are among just 12 partners that will get the opportunity to get early-access to the IBM quantum computing technology.

By Tom Ball

Barclays and JPMorgan are among a small group of organisations set to be the first to leverage IBM quantum computing, a technology set to have a disruptive impact across industries.

The two financial services behemoths will be two of only 12 that are partnering for the project, a varied group of organisations and institutions that are going to be involved in the initial use of commercial quantum computing.

Academic institutions and research organisations are examples of the other partners, with IBM bringing an array of skills and vantage points into the network for the integration of the technology.

Lori Beer, CIO, JPMorgan Chase, said: “Joining the IBM Q Network allows us to bring our technologists alongside IBM’s researchers and leverage cutting-edge quantum systems to learn about how we may be able to apply these technologies in the future.”

Quantum computing has been considered a nascent technology with vast potential, but this move is a sign that IBM is looking to move the technology out of its incubation phase, introducing it to industry leaders.

IBM has expressed bold intention to be able to achieve between 50 and 100 qubits of computational power within the decade. The lower end of this scale, 50 qubits, is enough to be more powerful than the most formidable supercomputers in existence today.

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So far the tech industry giant has achieved an impressive 17 qubits and it is the processor that generates this power that will be used for the early-access commercial quantum computing systems offered by IBM.

Having this year expressed an ambition to make quantum computing widely available, the company is planning to release an API and a simulator relating to IBM Q, aiming to drive education and widespread awareness of the capabilities of the emerging technology.

The financial services are a prime target for the application of quantum computing, with complex arduous processes lined up for revolutionary disruption with the implementation of the technology. IBM is not alone in pioneering quantum computing, the likes of Microsoft, Google and Intel are also active within the space.

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