Canada’s IBM Quantum System One Unveiled in Quebec

IBM Canada President Dave McCann talks quantum, Quebec-IBM Discovery Accelerator, and innovation in Canada

September 22, 2023
The Platform for Digital and Quantum Innovation of Quebec (PINQ²) announces the historic inauguration of an IBM Quantum System One Quantum Computer in Bromont, Quebec. (Credit: Ryan Lavine for IBM.)

An IBM Quantum System One, the first IBM quantum computer in Canada, is now operational at the IBM facility in Bromont, Quebec. The Platform for Digital and Quantum Innovation of Quebec (PINQ²)...

An IBM Quantum System One, the first IBM quantum computer in Canada, is now operational at the IBM facility in Bromont, Quebec. The Platform for Digital and Quantum Innovation of Quebec (PINQ²) will be the exclusive administrator of the quantum computer, with the collaboration promoting research, developing quantum talent, and helping propel Quebec as a world reference in sustainable development.

PINQ² will use its access to IBM Quantum System One, and its 127-qubit, utility-scale processor, to help accelerate advanced quantum research into application development to tackle complex and pressing global challenges, such as healthcare, energy, manufacturing, the environment, and sustainable development, as well as opportunities in financial services.

We sat down with IBM Canada President Dave McCann to get his thoughts on this milestone.

Dave McCannn

As a pioneer in this emerging technology, IBM has the world’s largest fleet of quantum computers available over the cloud. Of note, the system in Quebec is the fourth on-premises system for IBM Quantum Network clients, after deployments in Germany, Japan, and the United States. What do you think this level of innovation means for Canada?

Quantum computers carry out calculations that harness the laws of quantum mechanics and are being applied toward research to solve certain problems that today’s most powerful supercomputers cannot practically solve. Its potential to accelerate research and innovation and revolutionize fields from medicine to finance, plus the swift pace of its development, is creating new opportunities for Canada. The fact that utility-scale IBM Quantum System One is one of the few to be deployed globally is a testament to IBM’s commitment to Canada and its world-class scientific and technology community.

I’d like to add that it’s apt for this System One to be located in Quebec, at the IBM Canada facility in Bromont, which is also home to the largest chip assembly and testing facility in North America where over 100,000 microelectronic modules are manufactured each week. Plus, as announced earlier this year, we are investing in developing new and expanded packaging and testing capabilities. There is a 50+ year legacy of innovation in Bromont that provides a strong foundation for further technological advancements.

How important are partnerships like the ones IBM has with PINQ² and the Province of Quebec? 

The innovation and discovery that today’s societal challenges require will not be accomplished in a vacuum. Within these partnerships, IBM is bringing to the table its expertise and leadership in what we have coined “hard tech”: quantum computing, AI, high-performance computing, and hybrid cloud. IBM is committed to working with our partners and ecosystem to combine the full potential of accelerated discovery technologies like quantum and AI with deep industry, regional, and scientific expertise.  

This partnership with PINQ² and the Government of Quebec will help deliver new innovation in Canada, further strengthening the country’s competitiveness. Open collaboration is needed more than ever to tackle the major challenges facing our country, including sustainability, energy and food security. This launch of System One further reinforces IBM’s commitment to support these efforts.

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