Ever needed to tap into the processing power of a quantum computer — but didn’t quite know where to look?
With the announcement of its cloud-based IBM Quantum Experience platform, IBM Corp. is making quantum computing available to the public.
The company has developed a quantum processor that researchers and scientists can access via a quantum computing platform delivered via the IBM Cloud onto any desktop or mobile device. The five superconducting quantum bits (qubits) processor platform — housed at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y. — is designed to enable user experiments, the running of complex algorithms, and simulation testing.
Quantum computing uses qubits that are simultaneously in both states (0 and 1) at the same time; as such, quantum computing can process massive amounts of data and is technically able to test every solution of a problem at once. The emerging technology has the potential to accelerate developments in fields such as robotics, artificial intelligence, cryptography, and pharmaceuticals.
IBM estimates medium-sized quantum processors of 50-100 qubits to be possible in the next decade. The company claims that with a quantum computer built of just 50 qubits, many of today’s TOP500 supercomputers would be hard-pressed to successfully emulate it — highlighting the potential of this technology.
The project represents an approach towards building a universal quantum computer, one that can be programmed to perform any computing task and be exponentially faster than classical computers for science and business technology applications. By giving the public hands-on access to IBM’s experimental quantum systems, the platform aims to “accelerate innovations in the quantum field, and help discover new applications for this technology,” according to Arvind Krishna, senior vice president and director, IBM Research, in a statement.