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Tuesday, November 16, 2021

IBM debuts Quantum Machine it says no Standard Computer can Match

Yet more advances, now to 127 Qubits.  Implications for complexity?

IBM debuts quantum machine it says no standard computer can match in Fortune

IBM has announced its largest quantum processor to date, as the company seeks to show it is on track to create a commercially useful quantum computer by the end of 2023.

The new quantum hardware, which IBM is calling Eagle, has 127 qubits, which are the information-processing units of a quantum computer. This is a large enough cluster to perform calculations that cannot be made by traditional computers in a reasonable time frame, the company said.

But the company noted it had not yet done a benchmark demonstration to prove that the new processor can perform tasks beyond the grasp of conventional computers, saying only that the new machine is powerful enough that it should be able to do so.

Quantum computers are machines that use phenomena from quantum physics to process information. In a traditional computer, information is represented in a binary form, known as a bit. A bit can be either a zero or one. In a quantum computer, information is represented by a quantum bit, or qubit for short, that can be placed into a quantum state in which it can represent both zero and one at the same time.

Also, in a classical computer, all the bits in a computer chip function independently. In a quantum computer, the qubits are “entangled” with others in the quantum processor, enabling them all to work together to reach a solution. Those two properties give quantum computers, in theory, exponentially more power than a traditional computer.

But to date, quantum computers have been too underpowered—meaning they have too few qubits and those qubits cannot remain in a quantum state long enough—to pose a major challenge to traditional computers. In 2019, Google achieved a milestone called “quantum supremacy” in which it performed a simulation of a quantum physics problem that could not be carried out on a traditional computer. But, as important as that achievement was in the annals of computer science, it did not have any immediate business applications.  ... ' 

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