LAS VEGAS: BIG BLUE IBM has announced the world's first integrated quantum computing system designed for commercial use.
IBM has long been a front-runner when it comes to quantum computing; back in 2017, the firm showed off a prototype commercial 17-qubit processor that formed the core of the first IBM Q early-access systems, which saw the company laying out its ambitions to build commercially-available universal quantum computing systems.
And now it's done it. At this year's CES, IBM is announcing the Q System One, impressively billing it as "the world's first integrated universal approximate quantum computing system designed for scientific and commercial use."
The system contains a fourth-generation 20-qubit machine and boasts a modular and compact design with stability, reliability and continuous commercial in mind. This means - for the first time ever - universal approximate superconducting quantum computers can operate beyond the confines of the research lab.
IBM Q System One is comprised of a number of custom components that work together to serve as the "most advanced" cloud-based quantum computing program available, including:
- Quantum hardware designed to be stable and auto-calibrated to give repeatable and predictable high-quality qubits;
- Cryogenic engineering that delivers a continuous cold and isolated quantum environment;
- High precision electronics in compact form factors to tightly control large numbers of qubits;
- Quantum firmware to manage the system health and enable system upgrades without downtime for users; and
- Classical computation to provide secure cloud access and hybrid execution of quantum algorithms.
That all sounds impressive, but it's the design of the system that caught INQ's attention. Developed in partnership with UK industrial and interior design studios Map Project Office and Universal Design Studio, the IBM System Q One sits in a glass-enclosed, air-tight environment.
The striking 9-foot cube comes crafted from half-inch thick borosilicate glass forming a sealed, airtight enclosure that opens effortlessly using "roto-translation," a motor-driven rotation that makes it simple to maintain and upgrade the machine while minimizing downtime.
"The IBM Q System One is a major step forward in the commercialization of quantum computing," swooned Arvind Krishna, senior vice president of Hybrid Cloud and director of IBM Research.
"This new system is critical in expanding quantum computing beyond the walls of the research lab as we work to develop practical quantum applications for business and science."
IBM also announced that it will open a commercial Q Quantum Computation Center in Poughkeepsie, New York this year. µ
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