IBM has opened access to a new 16-kbit quantum processor

IBM has opened access to a new 16-kbit quantum processor

A year after scientists from IBM opened up access to a 5-kbit quantum processor, the company launched a more powerful and advanced system. On Wednesday, the company brought a 16-kilobit quantum computer online – you can work with it using the IBM Cloud platform, which already had 300 thousand quantum experiments.

Photo IBM Research CC

The new IBM computer is 40% more powerful than its 5-kbit predecessor. The evaluation was based on the performance metric of quantum computing, called the Quantum Volume. It takes into account the number and connectivity of qubits, as well as the quality and parallelism of quantum computing.

Quantum computers operate with qubits, whose work is based on two key principles of quantum physics: superposition and entanglement. Superposition means that, unlike classical bits, qubits can be in states 0 and 1 at the same time. Quantum entanglement is a phenomenon in which the quantum states of two or more objects are interdependent.

This leads to the emergence of so-called quantum parallelism when operations are performed simultaneously with zero and one. In such a system, for example, one can calculate three sums in one pass at a time: 0 + 0, 0 + 1 and 1 + 1. This property gives scientists the opportunity to develop fundamentally new algorithms for computation. For example, the Shore algorithm turned out to be exponentially faster than the classical algorithms for decomposing numbers by prime factors, and Grover’s algorithm finds the roots of Boolean equations more quickly.

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Therefore, the chip from IBM promises to provide the scientific community with new research capabilities. According to the company’s representatives, quantum computers will have a significant impact on such areas as machine learning and modeling. Qubits store more information than bits in classical systems, so they allow you to make certain calculations much faster.

The most promising application of quantum systems will be the field of chemistry. IBM already has techniques that allow researchers to simulate chemical tasks using quantum processors. In the future, the company plans to engage in modeling complex molecules and a high-precision prediction of chemical properties. Quantum applications can also be used to create new drugs, as they can model molecular and chemical reactions.

In parallel with the launch of a 16-qubit computer, IBM revealed the existence of an even more powerful system – a prototype 17-bit chip. Also, the company intends over the next 5 years to create a 50-qubit quantum system, which will have to “bypass” all modern classical computers. Additionally, IBM is going to team up with other industry representatives to work on creating applications that use quantum acceleration.

About IBM

“IBM is one of the world’s largest manufacturers and suppliers of hardware and software, as well as IT services and consulting services. The company was founded on June 16, 1911. IBM Corporation operates in almost every country in the world, including Russia, where the company finances research”.