(CNET) NTT, one of Japan’s telecommunications giants, has picked Silicon Valley NTT, for its first US lab for more the more basic academic research that could pay off with breakthroughs farther in the future. Many computing industry innovations have come from research labs. The transistor was created at AT&T’s Bell Labs, the hard drive by IBM Research and the graphical user interface at Xerox’s PARC.
“This is the place where east meets west on the innovation crossroads,” said Kazuhiro Gomi, chief executive of NTT Research, as he unveiled his company’s lab. NTT Research will investigate three areas at the outset: cryptography, including new encryption and blockchain technologies; medicine, including sensors that can create a person’s “digital twin” that will warn of actual health problems; and physics and informatics, including an effort to build a new type of fiber optic-based quantum computers.
While some quantum computing efforts focus on qubits housed on quantum processors, NTT Research hopes to use a different processing approach, the interactions of light traveling in fiber-optic lines.