IBM Upgrades Represent Rapid Advances in Quantum Hardware
International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) provides information technology (IT) products and services worldwide. IBM announced recently two significant quantum processor upgrades for its IBM Q early-access commercial systems. These upgrades represent rapid advances in quantum hardware as IBM continues to drive progress across the entire quantum computing technology stack, with focus on systems, software, applications, and enablement.
The first IBM Q systems available online to clients will have a 20 qubit processor, featuring improvements in superconducting qubit design, connectivity, and packaging. Coherence times (the amount of time available to perform quantum computations) lead the field with an average value of 90 microseconds and allow high-fidelity quantum operations.
IBM has also successfully built and measured an operational prototype 50 qubit processor with similar performance metrics. This new processor expands upon the 20 qubit architecture and will be made available in the next generation IBM Q systems.
Over the next year, IBM Q scientists will continue to work to improve its devices including the quality of qubits, circuit connectivity, and error rates of operations to increase the depth for running quantum algorithms. For example, within six months, the IBM team was able to extend the coherence times for the 20 qubit processor to be twice that of the publicly available 5 and 16 qubit systems on the IBM Q experience.
IBM also continues to grow its robust quantum computing ecosystem, including open-source software tools, applications for near-term systems, and educational and enablement materials for the quantum community. Through the IBM Q experience, over 60,000 users have run over 1.7M quantum experiments and generated over 35 third-party research publications. Users have registered from over 1500 universities, 300 high schools, and 300 private institutions worldwide, many of whom are accessing the IBM Q experience as part of their formal education. This form of open access and open research is critical for accelerated learning and implementation of quantum computing.