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IBM Reveals 50-Qubit Quantum Processor

IBM revealed that, thanks to advances in quantum hardware, it successfully developed an operational prototype 50-qubit processor. It also announced a 20-qubit processor for IBM Q systems, boasting improvements in "superconducting qubit design, connectivity and packaging."

The 50-qubit processor, meanwhile, will become available in the next generation of IBM Q systems. The company said clients will possess online access to the first IBM Q system's computing power by the end of 2017, and further upgrades will come to fruition during 2018.

Dario Gil, vice president of AI and IBM Q, IBM Research said:

"We are, and always have been, focused on building technology with the potential to create value for our clients and the world. The ability to reliably operate several working quantum systems and putting them online was not possible just a few years ago. [...] Now, we can scale IBM processors up to 50 qubits due to tremendous feats of science and engineering. These latest advances show that we are quickly making quantum systems and tools available that could offer an advantage for tackling problems outside the realm of classical machines."

Following the course of the next year, IBM Q scientists will pursue improving its devices by improving the quality of qubits, circuit connectivity, and error rates of operations that allows it to increase the depth for running quantum algorithms.

IBM also pointed towards its growing quantum computing ecosystem. Some examples mentioned were open-source software tools as well as educational and enablement materials. IBM Q has seen over 60,000 users running over 1.7 million quantum experiments, in addition to producing over 35 third-party research publications.

The technology company’s rapid progress in the field is quite impressive. It had only developed two quantum computers with 16 and 17 qubits in May. Before that announcement, in March, IBM and Google revealed plans to commercialize quantum computing technologies, with the former evidently making greater strides in achieving that.

Quantum computing systems are powerful enough to enable new applications that a conventional PC can't handle. IBM pointed out that quantum computing will have the ability to solve complex problems including chemical simulations and types of optimization. For example, this year the IBM Q team developed a new way to look at chemistry problems (opens in new tab) through quantum hardware, which they say could eventually "transform the way new drugs and materials are discovered."

IBM, a once-juggernaut in the computing industry, plans to further detail its advances in the space at an IEEE conference taking place today.

  • mac_angel
    but can it play Crysis?
  • JamesSneed
    20364978 said:
    but can it play Crysis?

    It already did and didn't.
  • DerekA_C
    I think this is the t-800 chip lol
  • bobalazs
    is that also why the world is developing AI? 'cause conventional programming methods will be worth <mod edit>?
  • tekethics
    Now all we need is that quantum language package from microsoft and we gg
  • JQB45
    I for one am fascinated by quantum computer technology. I imagine programming these machines is rather difficult.
  • photonboy
    Quantum PC's can't replace a regular PC. They essentially do highly accurate estimations far faster than a regular PC will be able to so will be only suitable for specific tasks such as modeling atomic structures.

    They are still fed data via a regular PC so essentially they become a co-processor similar to adding a graphics card to a PC and then running GPU-optimized code on that card.

    You could actually use a Quantum PC for gaming as a co-processor to run physics and types of AI, and probably many tasks that don't require 100% accuracy.
  • linuxgeex
    Quantum computers are basically the equivalent of FPGA for analog computing.
  • AgentLozen
    Despite the same pin layout as z270, the IBM 50 qubit processor is only compatible with z370 chipsets. =(
  • bit_user
    20371615 said:
    Quantum computers are basically the equivalent of FPGA for analog computing.
    No. There's nothing quantum about analog computers.