IBM brings its Quantum computer program to 16 African universities

IBM launched its Quantum computer program in Africa today, announcing a partnership with South Africa’s Wits University that will extend to 15 additional universities across 9 countries.

Quantum—or IBM Q, as the U.S. based company calls it—is a computer that uses quantum bits (or qubits) to top the capabilities of even the most advanced supercomputers.

When launched in early 2019, IBM said “Q systems are designed to one day tackle problems…seen as too complex and exponential in nature for classical systems to handle.”  It named future IBM Q applications in financial data, minimizing global financial risk, and optimizing logistics.

On how Q works, “It’s not your usual one and zeros. It’s about the superposition of ones and zeros, to have three zeros, a one, two ones to create a qubit,” IBM Research Africa VP Solomon Assefa told TechCrunch on a call.

“Because of that, and that it has so many difference states, the amount of computing you can do becomes exponential.”

IBM Q operates out of IBM’s Yorktown Heights research center in New York and will be accessed from African universities via the cloud.

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