Taiwan’s Tech Hubs Take Advantage of Disasters

After Japan’s earthquake and Thailand’s floods, firms are building backup manufacturing sites

2 min read

Apart from causing human tragedy, the Japanese earthquake and tsunami on 11 March 2011 and the floods in Thailand later that year were a test of the global technology supply chain. That supply chain turned out to be vulnerable to local events, which in turn has made having backup manufacturing infrastructure much more valuable. Now Taiwan is positioning itself to become a major backup production base for Japanese firms involved in the electronics supply chain.

In 2011, the Taiwanese government assisted 25 investment deals involving Japanese firms valued at NT$107.9 billion (US $3.66 billion), and the government projects many more in 2012. It’s quite a turnaround. Japan accounted for one-third of foreign direct investment in Taiwan in the 1980s, but its investments dropped to 11 percent over the past decade.

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An IBM Quantum Computer Will Soon Pass the 1,000-Qubit Mark

The Condor processor is just one quantum-computing advance slated for 2023

4 min read
This photo shows a woman working on a piece of apparatus that is suspended from the ceiling of the laboratory.

A researcher at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center examines some of the quantum hardware being constructed there.

Connie Zhou/IBM

IBM’s Condor, the world’s first universal quantum computer with more than 1,000 qubits, is set to debut in 2023. The year is also expected to see IBM launch Heron, the first of a new flock of modular quantum processors that the company says may help it produce quantum computers with more than 4,000 qubits by 2025.

This article is part of our special report Top Tech 2023.

While quantum computers can, in theory, quickly find answers to problems that classical computers would take eons to solve, today’s quantum hardware is still short on qubits, limiting its usefulness. Entanglement and other quantum states necessary for quantum computation are infamously fragile, being susceptible to heat and other disturbances, which makes scaling up the number of qubits a huge technical challenge.

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