LG Electronics plans to explore quantum applications with IBM in the coming years with emphasis on areas as diverse as AI, IoT, robotics, and analytics on the table for potential quantum speedups.
The South Korean electronics giant will be joining IBM’s Quantum Network, which already includes a number of other technology manufacturers including Sony, as well as manufacturers like Toyota, Mitsubishi, Samsung, Boeing, Daimler, and others.
IBM’s Quantum Network is designed to provide access to its own hardware and software platforms for quantum development, systems use, and training. For companies like LG and other members, it means a chance to explore the possible value of practical quantum computing while IBM benefits from industry-specific insight to guide next-generation quantum products and services.
LG has been exploring quantum possibilities for some time prior to today’s announcement. The company has had a quantum application team since late 2018, which is now led by former Intel and AMD engineer Brad Kim. In early 2021, LG formed ties with Dutch quantum algorithm startup Qu & Co, to explore potential use cases.
All of this is happening at a time when IBM has made notable leaps for both hardware and software platforms, all of which are accessible via cloud interface. As enterprise quantum development takes off, this means more capability for solving real-world problems on quantum systems.
IBM recently announced its “Eagle” 127-qubit quantum device and shed light on how it is packaged into a system via the IBM Quantum System Two for users who might want to bring quantum hardware in-house. IBM Quantum Network members, which now include LG, will be in line to get access to the platforms.
Other APAC technology and manufacturing companies are already using an IBM System One, including Sony, Toyota, and Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings, this time via a partnership with the University of Tokyo. That work includes building and running quantum applications as wide-ranging as new drug development, financial modeling, logistics optimizations and cryptography.
It would not be unlikely to see a similar center in South Korean academic institutions and companies in the country. In 2019 the South Korean Ministry of Science and ICT announced a wide-ranging $40 million investment in quantum computing for a five-year span designed to develop devices, software systems, and a pool of talent with the internal goal of creating a 4-qubit quantum device with 90 percent reliability by 2023.
“Based on our open innovation strategy, we plan to use IBM Quantum to develop our competency in quantum computing,” said Byoung-Hoon Kim, CTO and Executive Vice President of LG Electronics. “We aim to provide customers with value that they have not experienced so far by leveraging quantum computing technology in future businesses.”
“We’re happy to welcome LG Electronics to a growing quantum computing ecosystem in Korea at an exciting time for the region,” said Jay Gambetta, IBM Fellow and VP, Quantum Computing at IBM. “The relationship between IBM and LG Electronics will permit LG to explore new types of problems associated with emerging technologies and will help strengthen the quantum capabilities in Korea.”