print PRINT

SCIENCE > Technology

Tokyo Univ. professor aims to develop quantum computer

  • January 13, 2020
  • , Nikkei , p. 11
  • JMH Translation

University of Tokyo Professor Yasunobu Nakamura developed the world’s first “superconducting quantum bit,” the basic element of quantum computers, when he was working at NEC in 1999.  He is a pioneer of research on quantum computing hardware. He is also a member of the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (RIKEN) and leads research and development on a “gate-based” quantum computer, which is the most promising type of quantum computer, for a national project that began in fiscal 2018.


Currently, the number of quantum bits, which determines computing capability, that gate-based quantum computers operate on has reached nearly 50 or so. One of the major goals is to increase the number and achieve large-scale integration. The project aims to reach 100 quantum bits a decade from now. Nakamura expresses his eagerness by saying, “I want to go beyond that.”


Google successfully demonstrated a calculation by a gate-based quantum computer that was much faster than a supercomputer by using 53 quantum bits in 2019. Nakamura praised the U.S. tech giant by saying: “Their technical level is very high. There’s a lot we can learn from them.”


It is said that it will take more than 20 years to develop a full-fledged quantum computer as there are difficult issues to be resolved, such as creating a system to effectively correct calculation errors.


Nakamura pointed out that “the entire community (of researchers) still lacks depth” in Japan and that it is important to nurture human resources. (Abridged)


  • Ambassador
  • Ukraine
  • COVID-19
  • Trending Japan