IBM Introduces New Commercial Quantum Computing Processors
Kyle Maxey posted on May 19, 2017 |
IBM introduces two new quantum computing processors, both of which can be used on the cloud.

IBM has announced that it has successfully built two new quantum computing processors, both of which will be available to developers, researchers, and programmers for free via the IBM Cloud.

The first processor to be added to IBM’s quantum computing core is a 16-qubit chip that will increase the level of experimental complexity that the machine can handle. Previously, IBM’s quantum chip was operating with a 5-qubit architecture, seriously hindering how deep an investigation could go with the quantum machine.

The second development in IBM’s new release is a prototype commercial processor equipped with 17-qubits. Not only does the prototype chip offer an extra qubit, but it also leverages improvements to materials, devices and architecture that IBM believes will lead to the development of a 50-qubit machine. According to IBM, its prototype processor has been engineered to be twice as powerful as anything currently available on the cloud.  

"The significant engineering improvements announced today will allow IBM to scale future processors to include 50 or more qubits, and demonstrate computational capabilities beyond today’s classical computing systems,” said Arvind Krishna of IBM Research and Hybrid Cloud. “These powerful upgrades to our quantum systems, delivered via the IBM Cloud, allow us to imagine new applications and new frontiers for discovery that are virtually unattainable using classical computers alone.”

For just over a year, IBM has been offering access to its quantum computing resources via its IBM Q cloud platform. IBM boasts that during that time, over 300,000 quantum experiments have been run by university students, researchers and quantum computing enthusiasts. Given the powerful nature of quantum computers, those numbers will surely rise, and that’s good news for those involved in the fundamental research behind material, chemistry, AI and other disciplines that seed knowledge to practical disciplines like engineering.

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