IBM develops prototype 50 qubit processor

IBM develops prototype 50 qubit processor

IBM Corp. says it's beefing up the power of its online commercial quantum computing system, IBM Q, which will be made available to early-access customers later this year.

GOOGLE HAS teamed up with entirely honest German auto maker Volkswagen to explore ways in which Google's quantum computing technology can be applied in the automotive sector.

Although quantum computing is still relatively new, underpowered and expensive it has the potential to solve particular complex problems highly efficiently.

"We at Volkswagen want to be among the first to use quantum computing for corporate processes as soon as this technology is commercially available".

The two companies will explore the use of quantum computers with an aim of building specialist knowledge and to carry out practically oriented research.

In the case of the 50-qubit system, the quantum state was only maintained for 90 microseconds. Other systems built so far have had limited capabilities and could perform only calculations that could also be done on a conventional supercomputer. Even as recently as past year, they were able to achieve coherence times of 47 and 50 microseconds for the 5 qubit machines.

The 50-qubit processor, meanwhile, will become available in the next generation of IBM Q systems. This is because quantum computers become exponentially more powerful as more qubits are added thanks to a phenomenon called "entanglement", which relates to the ability of qubits to correlate with each other so that each one is aware of the state of all of the others.

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"We are really proud of this; it's a big frickin' deal", Gil told MIT Technology Review. Gil made the announcement at the IEEE Industry Summit on the Future of Computing in Washington, D.C., on Friday morning.

IBM also pointed towards its growing quantum computing ecosystem.

The technology company's rapid progress in the field is quite impressive. IBM Q, which was announced in March, is a followup to that effort.

The announcement should perhaps be treated cautiously, though.

Childs says the larger number of qubits does not necessarily translate to a leap in computational capability.

Following the course of the next year, IBM Q scientists will pursue improving its devices by improving the quality of qubits, circuit connectivity, and error rates of operations that allows it to increase the depth for running quantum algorithms.

Google quantum artificial intelligence laboratory director Hartmut Neven said: "Volkswagen has enormous expertise in solving important, real-world engineering problems, and it is an honor for us to collaborate on how quantum computing may be able to make a difference in the automotive industry".

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