We can say that with this new announcement, IBM is leading the race for the “quantum throne”.
Last year, IBM opened its quantum computer as a cloud service for researchers to use. At that time, it was an advanced computer system, but it only made 5 qubits. But just recently, IBM announced the opening of a quantum computing system four times more powerful than before – 20 qubits. A big step forward in just 18 months.
They also announced that they were in possession of another 50-qubit quantum computing model, another milestone in the quantum race. But it’s unclear when IBM will show us this powerful machine firsthand.
Previous IBM computer models were all free, allowing the research community or interested parties to come together and help each other in programming or using quantum computers. Today’s announcement marks the first time IBM has made the machine publicly available for commercial use. The project is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
If you don’t already know, quantum computers are the next level of a powerful computing system. In conventional computers, data is only stored as 0’s and 1’s, while quantum computers use qubits – quantum bits, quantum bits, which allow the computer to record data in multiple states at the same time. time (for example, can be 0, can be 1, or can be 0 and 1) at the same time, which allows it to handle more complex calculations.
This allows him to perform complex calculations.
Dario Gil, an artificial intelligence and quantum computing researcher at IBM, says increasing qubits is only part of what they’ve done. The more qubits there are, the more complicated the interactions between the qubits, because they do not interact with each other in the usual way, but are linked together in a state called quantum entanglement – two particles can behave in the same way. , no matter how far away.
The more qubits there are the more likely they are to go wrong, maybe they won’t even be as powerful as a 5-qubit quantum computer. Gil says they’ve been able to keep the machine running smoothly, minimize errors, and as a result have a powerful and useful quantum computing system.
Another problem in dealing with quantum states (data states) is that they are often of short duration, called quantum coherence. This means that we have only a short time to use the quantum state of the qubit, before it falls back to the ground states of 0 and 1.
In the 90s, when we started exploring quantum computers, we only had a few nanoseconds to work with. Last year, the 5-qubit system had periods of 47 and 50 microseconds. This 20-qubit machine managed to reach 90 microseconds, separating the two states.
Still too short for us to build a quantum algorithm to put in the machine. However, this is already a significant step forward in just over 20 years.
Currently, IBM wants to apply quantum computers to drug research, materials science because in these fields there are so many ways of combining substances, we need a powerful computer system to experiment and research.
Quantum computers will be the keys to unlock the door to the future, a land that is fully explored and explored by humanity.