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IBM and the Fraunhofer Institute unveiled Europe's most powerful quantum computer

The computer, of the IBM System One type, includes a quantum chip of 27 qubits and a quantum volume of 32. It operates inside an armored glass case - like the one behind which the Mona Lisa is displayed - and at a temperature colder than that prevailing in outer space. One of the goals of the collaboration: to train reserves of researchers and developers for the age of quantum computing

The IBM System One quantum computer. PR photo
The IBM System One quantum computer. PR photo

IBM and the German research institute Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft unveiled last night for the first time the most powerful quantum computer in Europe. This is the first quantum computer of the IBM System One type that does not operate within the confines of an IBM research laboratory. German Chancellor Angela Marker, IBM CEO Arvind Krishna and Fraunhofer Institute President Prof. Raymond Neigbauer participated in the computer launch event.

The computer, which will be located in the branch of the institute in the city of Ehningen (Ehningen) certification to Stuttgart, will now be accessible through the IBM cloud for researchers, students, universities and companies from Europe, and will allow them to establish the necessary skills and abilities to work with quantum computing systems. Also, the computer will be able to integrate into research projects of entities in the European Union.

Next month, a similar IBM computer will be operated for the first time at a Japanese research institute, and according to the plan, next year it will be joined by another computer that will operate at the Cleveland Clinic Medical Research Institute in Ohio, USA. These installations are part of IBM's ambition to expand the civil-commercial use of quantum computing systems and expand the course of training and acquiring the skills of the workforce needed for the quantum computing era.

The computer is based on a quantum chip made by IBM that contains 27 qubits (nicknamed Falcon), and is located at a temperature colder than that prevailing in outer space. The quantum volume of the computer is 32 (quantum volume is a weighting of the number of qubits and the computer's ability to complete quantum circuits accurately). This is a breakthrough technological and scientific achievement based on the combination of IBM's advanced quantum technology and the careful design of System One, which significantly reduces the vibrations, temperature changes and electromagnetic interference that affect the accuracy of the results of quantum calculations.

"Quantum computing opens up new possibilities for industry and society," said Hannah Venzl, quantum computing coordinator of the Fraunhofer Competence Network. "Medicines and vaccines can be developed more quickly, climate prediction models can be improved, logistics and transport systems can be optimized, or better simulations of innovative materials can be created. To make all this happen, and to channel the rapid development in the field of quantum computing, we must build expertise in the subject in Europe."

The project was implemented with the support of the federal government of Germany and the government of the state of Baden-Württemberg, which will invest about 40 million euros in it. Among other things, additional developers and technologists will be recruited to the project, to write algorithms for quantum applications and the complex computing systems that support the system.

IBM's quantum computers are considered the most advanced in the world today and the company is considered a pioneer in the development of commercial applications for quantum innovation. IBM is currently the only company that offers a complete quantum system that includes the unique and sensitive hardware, a sealed glass case (the type behind which the Mona Lisa is displayed in the Louvre Museum), a system for neutralizing noise, vibrations and electromagnetic radiation, the supporting computing systems and the software necessary to operate them, the cloud services that support the system and the content platform needed to make the quantum benefits accessible even to technologists who are not expert physicists.

Already in 2016, IBM was the first company to access a quantum computer on a public cloud for researchers and students. Around the public platform, called The IBM Quantum Experience, a community of more than 325 thousand users gathered, who implemented hundreds of billions of quantum circuits (over two billion per day) on real hardware and simulators. These quantum experiments and applications led the members of the community, mostly academics and researchers, to publish more than 400 professional papers in various fields.

In addition to the public quantum platform, IBM operates a more advanced network called The IBM Q Network that makes quantum computers of various volumes accessible to a community of more than 150 leading organizations - research and academic institutions, leading industrial and computing companies, financial entities, public organizations and startups.

Last year, IBM revealed a road map in which it stated its intention to develop a quantum computer of more than a thousand qubits by 2023. This month, IBM signed a five-year agreement with the British government, in the amount of 210 million pounds, under which a research institute will be established that will increase the scope of researchers and professionals Those skilled in the fields of artificial intelligence and quantum computing.

According to data from, the value of the global market for quantum technologies is currently approaching 22 billion dollars. However, only a small fraction of businesses are preparing for the quantum era. The vast majority of companies do not yet have the workforce capable of using quantum computers, doing any kind of quantum programming or even exploring how a quantum computer can help them.

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