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Toyota harnesses quantum computers to develop battery materials

  • October 29, 2021
  • , Nikkei Asia , 2:37 a.m.
  • English Press

YUTA SHIMONO, Nikkei staff writer

 

TOKYO — Toyota Motor seeks to rev up its development of batteries used in electric vehicles by employing quantum computing to research new materials that can increase performance.

 

The automaker will tie up with Tokyo-based QunaSys, which has expertise in quantum computing software, to perform simulations to determine the properties of a wide range of materials.

 

The research will employ a technique call density-functional theory, or DFT, that models the electronic structure of a material. Conventional supercomputers, however, can require months to make simulations using the approach and often simulations cannot be performed because of a lack of accuracy.

 

Toyota and QunaSys will research ways to improve the DFT method through the use of quantum computers. The goal is to realize lower error rates as well as higher analyzing speeds. The two are considering using Japan’s first commercial quantum computer, which was started up by the University of Tokyo and IBM in July.

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