Monday, June 17, 2024

IBM unveils most powerful processor yet for quantum computing

Tech titan IBM has introduced the “IBM Osprey”, its new 433-quantum bit (qubit) processor, which contains the largest qubit count of any IBM quantum processor, more than tripling the 127 qubits on the IBM Eagle processor unveiled in 2021.

Big Blue debuted the powerful chip at the IBM Quantum Summit 2022, where it also outlined its vision for quantum-centric supercomputing.

The processor, according to IBM, has the potential to run complex quantum computations well beyond the computational capability of any classical computer.

“For reference, the number of classical bits that would be necessary to represent a state on the IBM Osprey processor far exceeds the total number of atoms in the known universe,” the company said.

“The new 433 qubit ‘Osprey’ processor brings us a step closer to the point where quantum computers will be used to tackle previously unsolvable problems,” said Dr. Darío Gil, senior vice president at IBM and director of research.

“We are continuously scaling up and advancing our quantum technology across hardware, software and classical integration to meet the biggest challenges of our time, in conjunction with our partners and clients worldwide. This work will prove foundational for the coming era of quantum-centric supercomputing.”

At the summit, the company also unveiled new software that aims to addresses error correction and mitigation in quantum computers.

IBM released a beta update to Qiskit Runtime, which now includes allowing a user to trade speed for reduced error count with a simple option in the API.

“By abstracting the complexities of these features into the software layer, it will make it easier for users to incorporate quantum computing into their workflows and speed up the development of quantum applications,” it said.

The company also announced at the event the IBM Quantum System Two, the latest update to its next-generation quantum system.

“As IBM Quantum systems scale up towards the stated goal of 4,000+ qubits by 2025 and beyond, they will go beyond the current capabilities of existing physical electronics. IBM updated the details of the new IBM Quantum System Two, a system designed to be modular and flexible, combining multiple processors into a single system with communication links,” it said.

IBM said the system is targeted to be online by the end of 2023.

“The IBM Quantum Summit 2022 marks a pivotal moment in the evolution of the global quantum computing sector, as we advance along our quantum roadmap. As we continue to increase the scale of quantum systems and make them simpler to use, we will continue to see adoption and growth of the quantum industry,” said Jay Gambetta, IBM Fellow and VP of IBM Quantum.

“Our breakthroughs define the next wave in quantum, which we call quantum-centric supercomputing, where modularity, communication, and middleware will contribute to enhanced scaling computation capacity, and integration of quantum and classical workflows.”

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