IBM presented a quantum computer with a capacity of 50 qubits at CES 2018 in Las Vegas.
The power of the new computer will solve computing problems that is not possible for conventional silicon chips. IBM’s development will help scientists in the creation of new synthetic materials, accelerate the development of machine learning, and will create services on a completely new level.
Developers have increased the coherence time of the new computer by two times – up to 90 microseconds.
The chip must be isolated from noise – thermal, electrical, and magnetic – and be at a temperature close to absolute zero. The efficiency of the computer depends on how effectively it is possible to lower the temperature.
The whole system takes up about 10 square meters and is quite loud when operating.
In order to share its achievement with humanity, the company launched the IBM Q project: a working quantum computer with 20 qubits with cloud access. 60,000 users have already conducted about 1.7 million experiments.
IBM plans to cooperate with commercial partners in finance, automotive, and chemical industries which will give them access to their computing power.
Scientists from the Russian Quantum Center under the leadership of Mikhail Lukin announced in the summer of 2017 the creation of a system with 51 qubits. The system is built using cold rubidium atoms.
So far it is not clear which of the two systems is more powerful. The performance of quantum computers depends not only on the number of qubits. The complexity of calculations is associated with a large number of errors that still have to be dealt with. IBM specialists say that they managed to significantly reduce the level of errors, which has made their system more productive.