VTT's 5-qubit quantum computer.

Science and technology

Finland marks a significant milestone in the technological sphere as VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland unveils the nation's first five-qubit quantum computer for the use of Finnish and European companies. This pioneering move allows businesses to delve into the development of quantum algorithms and software, and to assess their applicability in solving practical computational problems.

Enterprises looking to gain a competitive edge can now access the quantum computer through CSC's data center in Kajaani, which connects to the LUMI supercomputer, one of the world's most powerful computing systems. Offering fixed monthly rates, VTT is making this cutting-edge technology broadly accessible to industries across the board.

Quantum computing promises to revolutionize various sectors, with finance and pharmaceuticals expected to reap early benefits due to the substantial computational power quantum computers can provide. However, VTT emphasizes that its quantum computer is available to all enterprises, regardless of industry or size. The quantum advantage is particularly relevant for complex optimization problems prevalent across different industrial sectors.

Pekka Pursula, Head of Quantum Technology Research at VTT, stresses the importance of businesses familiarizing themselves with quantum computing capabilities now. "The computational power of quantum computers and their problem-solving capabilities are rapidly advancing. Starting to understand quantum computing now is crucial for companies aiming to develop their products and services with this new technology," Pursula explains.

In practice, companies can use the developmental environment to craft quantum algorithms and evaluate their potential for the future when quantum computers are expected to increase in qubits and computational capacity, exponentially enhancing their problem-solving prowess.

Moving Toward Hybrid Computing with LUMI Supercomputer

Accessing the quantum computer is conveniently done from users' own PCs, connecting first to the LUMI supercomputer, which in turn links to the quantum system. Programmers can utilize tools like Qiskit and Cirq to craft their quantum algorithms.

As quantum computers grow in size and power, so too do the prospects for hybrid computing — combining quantum and classical supercomputing for enhanced problem-solving. This hybrid approach is set to further improve the capacity to tackle practical computational challenges.

Kimmo Koski, CEO of CSC, highlights the collaborative potential of this venture. "The cooperation paves the way to the future. Quantum computing and high-performance computing are complementary technologies: they solve different types of problems and thus enhance each other. LUMI, among the world's most powerful supercomputers, once again demonstrates its strength as an accelerator for both scientific and commercial computation by creating new hybrid usage possibilities," says Koski.