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Japan enters quantum computing race -- and offers free test drive

NTT taking different tack from Google in turning theoretical physics into practical tech

NTT's quantum computer is said to use about as much power as a household appliance.

TOKYO -- Nippon Telegraph and Telephone will open up a prototype quantum computing system for public use over the internet for free starting Nov. 27, the company said Monday, as Japan joins China and the U.S. in the race to develop the world's most advanced computers.

Quantum computers take advantage of the strange physical phenomena occurring at extremely small scales. The international rush to develop the technology comes as limits emerge to speeding up and reducing the power consumption of existing semiconductor-based computers. Quantum tech offers advantages in both areas.

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