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Israeli startup to build quantum computing center

Israel is making progress in the development of quantum computing, as are Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

An Israeli startup has been selected by the government to build a large quantum computing center in the country. 

The Tel Aviv-based Quantum Machines announced today that the Israel Innovation Authority tapped them to establish the Israel Quantum Computing Center. Israel is setting up the first-of-its-kind center in line with the 2018 Israel National Quantum Initiative, Quantum Machines said in a press release. 

Quantum Machines will lead the establishment of the center with a consortium of other companies, including the weapons manufacturer Elbit Systems, according to the release. 

The project has a budget of around $29 million, the Israeli technology news outlet CTech reported. 

What it is: Quantum computing refers to the use of quantum physics — the study of atomic or subatomic particles — for computer functions. Whereas today’s computers can only encode information with the numeric values 1 or 0, quantum computing utilizes qubits, which can have a value of 0 or 1 — or both. Classical computers’ power grows linearly when adding more transistors, but quantum computers’ power grows exponentially with more qubits. They can therefore solve more complex problems better than classic computers.

Why it matters: Israeli cyber consultant Nadav Zafrir told Al-Monitor in April that “our lives will never look the same” once quantum computing takes off. Zafrir said that quantum computing is particularly promising for cancer research.

Israel, with its strong high-tech sector, is seeking to develop quantum computing. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem began research in the field in 2018. Last year, Israel joined the European Union’s Horizon Europe research program.

Know more: Quantum Machines also signed an agreement with the Japanese car giant Toyota this month. The Israeli company will provide quantum-based technology to Toyota’s Japanese customers, according to The Times of Israel. 

Quantum computing research is ongoing in other parts of the Middle East as well, particularly in the Gulf. Last year, Abu Dhabi began building its own quantum computer, The National reported. The King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia is also conducting research into quantum computing, according to Arab News. 

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