IBM just raised the bar in the game of quantum computing. On Friday, the company announced two new quantum computer processors, one of which is the most powerful of its kind. This achievement is considered to be a vital progress towards a powerful way of how information will be processed in the near future.
Quantum computer that handles 50 qubits
According to IBM, its most powerful quantum computer is able to handle 50 quantum bits or qubits. The company is also developing a 20-qubit quantum system, which is available through its cloud computing platform.
IBM’s new 50-qubit processor is a natural extension of its 20-qubit processor’s architecture, the processor planned to be made accessible online to clients by the end of this year. The company will make the 50-qubit processor available in the next generation IBM Q systems.
In quantum computing, qubits are the basic units that hold bits of information. They can be a combination of 1 or 0 at the same time, instead of either 0 or 1 like the traditional computers. The credit goes to photons that exist in multiple states at any time, allowing a quantum computer to operate much quicker than traditional machines.
The researchers successfully preserved the quantum state for 90 microseconds in both 50 and 20 qubit system. It is, no doubt, an extremely short period of time, but considering the limitations of other quantum computing systems developed so far, is still a new record for the industry.
“Now, we can scale IBM processors up to 50 qubits due to tremendous feats of science and engineering,” Dario Gil, vice president of AI and IBM Q, IBM Research, said in a statement. “These latest advances show that we are quickly making quantum systems and tools available that could offer an advantage for tackling problems outside the realm of classical machines.”
IBM isn’t the only company to build the powerful quantum computer. Over the last few years, Google has also made some serious progress in building quantum computing systems. Recently, it teamed up with Volkswagen to develop better EV batteries using quantum computers and artificial intelligence. It’s like a race for quantum supremacy, where no one is the loser.