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For the first time: IBM introduces a quantum computer with a 50-bit processor

Oded Cohen, Vice President at IBM WorldA: "We quickly make quantum systems and new tools available for wide use, in a way that helps utilize the extraordinary capabilities in dealing with problems that exceed the scale that classical computing systems are capable of dealing with"

The IBM Q quantum computer has 50 quantum bits. Source: IBM.
The IBM Q quantum computer has 50 quantum bits. source: IBM.

IBM presents two significant upgrades to its first quantum systems intended for commercial applications and accessible via the network, IBM Q. The upgrades express the rapid progress the company is making in the field of hardware in quantum systems, while at the same time it operates in the areas of software, applications and the accessibility of this technology.

The first quantum systems from the IBM Q models to be available online will offer a 20-bit quantum processor (qbit) and improvements in the quantum bit's superconducting design, connectivity and packaging. The coherent time of the bit on the IBM computer (coherence time is the length of time in which a quantum calculation can be performed) is now the leader in the field, with an average time of 90 milliseconds - a length of time that allows quantum calculation operations to be performed with a high level of reliability.

IBM has also managed to build a processor that includes 50 quantum bits and measure its actual performance. It was found that even at 50 bits, the processor maintains a similar level of performance in terms of coherent time. The new processor is an extension of the architecture used by the company in 20-bit quantum processors, and it is expected to be available already in the next generation of IBM Q systems.

Customers will be able to access via the network the computer worlds of the first IBM Q systems already at the end of 2017, during 2018 another series of upgrades is already planned. IBM is focused on ensuring the availability of scalable quantum computing systems for universal applications. Such systems will allow customers to test the use of practical applications based on the new capabilities they offer.

The current advances in quantum hardware at IBM are a direct result of development over three technological generations, since IBM launched a working quantum computer available for online access in May of last year. In the 18 months since launch, IBM has brought 5-bit Quantum systems online, followed by 16-bit Quantum systems. In this way, IBM's team was able to double the duration of coherent time in a 20-bit quantum processor in six months, compared to 5- and 16-bit processors already available for public use.

IBM is making quantum computers accessible to the general public through its IBM Q Experience program, and is developing the world's most advanced ecosystem of quantum systems that supports use by as wide a public as possible. As part of the IBM Q Experience, more than 60,000 users have already run more than 1.7 million quantum experiments - which form the basis for more than 35 scientific articles by researchers outside IBM itself.

According to Oded Cohen, Vice President at IBM Global and Director of the IBM Research Laboratory in Haifa: "The meaning of today's announcement is that we are quickly making quantum systems and new tools available for wide use, in a way that helps utilize the extraordinary abilities in dealing with problems that exceed the scale with which systems are able to deal Classical Computing".

Quantum computing carries with it the promise of solving certain problems, such as simulations of chemical processes and types of optimizations, the scope of which will exceed the capabilities of classical computers. In a scientific paper recently published in Nature, the IBM Q team presented a pioneering new way to examine problems in chemistry using quantum hardware that may change the way new drugs and materials are discovered in the future. Training materials on the subject are also available in the QISKit.

16 תגובות

  1. For example, they will be able to integrate it into a future spacex spacecraft to perform a complicated operation of space jumping and warping time and space in a transition between dimensions.

  2. I've dug around on the internet and I can't find a single source that explains how a quantum computer works.

    Everyone talks about superposition of modes and collapsing into one mode when you measure... but how do you make a computer out of it?

    How are the states called, and if the collapse is for one state, what do I care that there can be many states?

    If any of the intelligent readers of this site can explain in simple terms how a quantum computer (really) works... thanks in advance.

  3. All cyber in its current form can go to waste, if such a computer is put up for sale. All ciphers that take 40 years to crack will now take minutes/hours to crack. Rethinking is required: ciphers with quantum encryption complications, content filtering systems (data power) with artificial intelligence that does genetic evolution in the face of cyber attacks. Adaptive fire walls that change shape depending on the attack.
    There will be a livelihood for everyone.

  4. The challenge is not at all in finding primes, you already know how to do that in polynomial time. The challenge is factoring large numbers. If they succeed, RSA goes to waste.

  5. rival
    That's what Shore's algorithm is for. This algorithm is an efficient method for factoring a number.
    If and when they succeed in breaking large numbers - many encryption methods go to waste (RSA for example).

  6. Miracles,

    I think you're right, according to Wint in 2016 they discovered a huge prime number with 22 million digits... ok then we won't be able to use this quantum computer to discover new prime numbers, but it will still be interesting to see how long it takes to find prime numbers that we already know and compare the time Its detection to that of a normal classical computer (presumably a supercomputer).

    It's clear to me that people have already thought about it... I'm just really curious to hear what the result is 🙂 I'm also interested in how you even "program" such a quantum computer to find prime numbers... how do you tell it?

  7. The image of this quantum computer resembles an image of a pendulum clock from the 18th century.
    Is this what a quantum computer really looks like?
    I hope they do not operate on the same physical principles and also, that there is some improvement exactly.
    Parts of this quantum computer appear to be made of gold.
    Can anyone explain this?

  8. jewel,

    Yeah I thought maybe that was the calculation but I wasn't sure because it seemed too simple to me. If this is true, then they should discover with the help of this computer prime numbers that are much larger than the ones we know today, and also make sure about the ones we already know (which will prove that it really does the correct calculation).

    I hope someone will try and report the result.

  9. Definitely impressive - also the competition against D-Wave who already have a 2000 qubit processor but the counter argument is that it
    does not take advantage of all the quantum possibilities that a quantum computer is expected to perform,
    So not only is the issue very complex, commercial considerations also enter into it, which adds another layer to the complication,
    One can understand the force pushing the different companies to reach the Holy Grail
    Because of the ability of these computers to solve computational problems, some of which would not even be possible to perform on classic computers.

  10. Wow that sounds amazing, is it really a classical quantum computer as described in books and theory? Or is it just something like that? Does anyone know, for example, what is the largest prime number that can be discovered with the help of 50 qubits? It would be nice to give this task to the new computer as a challenge task and compare the solution time (and of course its correctness) relative to a classic computer.

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