In the race towards achieving computing supremacy, almost every tech corporation has been trying their hand at the extremely hyped-Quantum computers. But industry veterans IBM have come out with the fully-functioning Integrated Quantum Computing System geared for commercial use at CES (Consumer Electronics Show) 2019.
IBM claims to bring something to table which has been missing from most of the existing quantum computers in the world – Reliability. They managed to pull this off by building the device using their very own integrated systems.
“This is something IBM brings to the market that no one else really does. We know how to do integrated systems. The electronics for a quantum computer are not something you go buy off the shelf. You need a temperature controlled environment, you need to minimize the vibrations — anything that might disrupt the quantum calculations.” told IBM’s VP of quantum research, Bob Sutor in an interview with The Verge.
Here’s a quick run down on what exactly is all this. Quantum Computers work on the principle of superposition of Qubits (Q Bits). So what this means is, usually in conventional computers data is processed in the form of binary bits i.e 0 and 1. Meaning your inputs are either 0 or 1. But in Quantum computers, both the bits exist simultaneously, until measured. These computers leverage this concept by managing to make quantum matter exist in this superposition state, where it exists in either state at once. While one qubit wouldn’t seem powerful, a combination of qubits would improve the scope of these computers tremendously.
Consider a tradional computer in which you have 2 bits. The two bits together can take one single value out of a possible 4 values (00,10,01,11). But in Quantum computers, all the 4 values can exist simultaneously. And the number of possible values it can take increasing exponentially as the number of qubits (or bits) increases.
To puts things into perspective, the IBM Q System One is a 20 qubit processing computer. Meaning it essentially has 524,288 bits to handle the data and signals. And IBM has managed to package this highly intricate hardware into a gorgeous stainless steel cylinder suspended from the ceiling, all enclosed in a 9 x 9 ft glass cube.
IBM News Room
This new center will house some of the world’s most advanced cloud-based quantum computing systems, which will be accessible to members of the IBM Q Network, a worldwide community of leading Fortune 500 companies, startups, academic institutions, and national research labs working with IBM to advance quantum computing and explore practical applications for business and science.
Argonne National Laboratory, CERN, ExxonMobil, Fermilab, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are some of the latest additions to the Q Network.
IBM’s Q Quantum Computation Centre will soon be opened in Poughkeepsie, New York. This Centre will house the Q System One and organizations will be able to harness the power of these quantum computers on a pay per use basis. This new technology which has so far been available only within the confines of a lab could now be a real game changer in several fields such as Drug Delivery, Materials, Stock Market, Scientific Simulations.