IBM has big ambitions for its quantum computers. The American Giant wants a processor 4,000 qubits by 2025. We are still far from the goal. Indeed, for the moment we have to be content with the Osprey quantum processor, which has 433 qubits, compared to 127 qubits for the Eagle model of 2021.
IBM’s big ambitions for quantum
As Darío Gil, Senior Vice President at IBM and Director of Research, explains, “ the new 433-qubit Osprey processor brings us one step closer to the point where quantum computers will be used to solve previously unsolvable problems “. He points out that for several years, IBM continues to advance its quantum technologies in terms of hardware and software integration, in order to meet the greatest challenges of our time.
IBM’s roadmap is already defined: the 1,121-qubit Condor and 1,386-qubit Flamingo processors will see the light of day in 2023 and 2024 respectively. Then, by 2025, the technological giant will move to the superior with a 4,000 qubit processor dubbed Kookaburra. So far, the company has managed to keep its commitments. Conventional computers use binary digits, or bits, which can be zero or one. Quantum computers use quantum bits, or qubits, which represent and store information in a quantum state which is a complex mixture of zero and one.
Machines capable of supporting this quantum state have the potential to sort through a large number of possibilities in near real time. IBM is not the only company betting on this area. Microsoft, Google, D-Wave Systems, plus a slew of startups, are all making great strides in this area. As all of these companies take different approaches to building their quantum machines, it’s possible that certain types of computers will end up being better suited to solving specific problems.
D-Wave claims to have a machine with more than 5,000 qubits. Qubits are sensitive and can easily be disturbed by changes in temperature, noise, or frequency. IBM houses its quantum systems in cryogenic refrigerators, several of which are located at the company’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York. Since 2016, IBM has put its quantum computers in the cloud to allow companies, universities and individuals to experiment with the technology.