Materials technology company Archer Materials (ASX: AXE) came out of a self-imposed trading halt this morning to announce a collaboration with US computing giant IBM (NYSE: IBM) to advance quantum computing.
In a statement to the market, Archer confirmed it has signed an agreement with IBM and will now become a member of the IBM Q Network and the associated IBM Quantum Experience for Business program.
One of the key aspirations of the deal is to develop a quantum computing processor that can conduct a higher number of calculations at faster speeds while using far less power compared to existing technology.
Both companies have declared their intentions to seek mutually beneficial collaborative opportunities to advance quantum computing and are expected to demonstrate and develop actual and conceptual quantum processors, hardware design, algorithms, applications, and business use cases over the coming years.
“Ultimately, we want Australian businesses and consumers to be one of the first beneficiaries of this exciting technology, and now that we are collaborating with IBM, it greatly increases our chances of success,” Archer chief executive officer Dr Mohammad Choucair said.
“We look forward to working with IBM and members of the network to address the most fundamental challenges to the wide-scale adoption of quantum computing, using our potentially complementary technologies as starting points,” he added.
From Archer’s perspective, the benefit of joining IBM’s Q Network will be gaining access to IBM’s quantum computing expertise and resources, and open-source Qiskit software and developer tools.
Moreover, IBM has agreed to provide Archer with access to its quantum computation centre, which, according to IBM, includes the most advanced quantum computers available to explore practical commercial applications.
Over time as research progresses, any discoveries and developments that are made will not threaten Archer’s intellectual property rights over its proprietary technology or products.
One specific product currently being developed is Archer’s ‘CQ chip’ – a stepping stone to harnessing future quantum computing technology that can operate at room temperature while being integrated into modern electronic devices.
More broadly, Archer said its approach to materials development is based on enabling a “new wave of converging technologies”, each with the potential to positively impact global industries spanning electronics, medicine and energy.
“The quantum computing economy is rapidly growing, complex, and has the potential to impact all sectors dependent on computational power. First-movers are therefore in the best position to seize the lion’s share of the total value generated in this multibillion-dollar industry,” Dr Choucair said.
Archer Materials shares were up almost 65% up to $0.305 in morning trade.