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IBM takes “a step forward” for the creation of the quantum computer

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IBM takes “a step forward” for the creation of the quantum computer

The technology company announced an improvement of its simulator to model circuits with more than 20 qubits

The technology company IBM said Monday that it has taken “a step forward” on the road to the creation of the future quantum computer, thanks to the implementation of a programming interface (API) that will allow more complex and effective simulations.

Scientists began talking about three decades ago of quantum computing, a different computing environment that will have the potential to solve intractable problems for today’s computers. However, science moves in theory, so it has not yet been possible to build the quantum computer since there are only prototypes.

IBM launched Quantum Experience last year, a cloud platform connected to the web so that anyone who wants to can experience for free with a quantum processor: learn to program, create and test algorithms.

Until now, simulations could be done with a 5 qubit processor (or quantum bits), but the technology announced this Monday an improvement of the simulator to model circuits with more than 20 qubits. Since the launch of such platform last May, some 40,000 users have made more than 275,000 experiments with it and 15 articles have been published in scientific journals.

Antonio Córcoles-González, a scientist at IBM Research, explained during an interview that the launch of the new programming environment of Quantum Experience is “revolutionary”, because until now it was done through the web.

Then he said that it is a “step forward” that will “make more money” to quantum computing because it will favor “write the code in much more detail and make more operations than were possible until now.” The hardware of the IBM quantum computing project is owned by the technology, but the use of the software is open to third parties.

First industrial initiative

Also, from IBM was shown in a press release his “intention” to take forward the first “industrial initiative to build and commercialize quantum computer systems”, thanks to the collaboration with other partners who still did not want to give names.

“It is difficult to establish what a quantum computer entails, the idea is to start developing systems that are capable of dealing with problems that are intractable with the computers we have today. (…) The intention is to have about 50 qubits in a few years, “added Córcoles-González.

Classical computing is based on bits, that minimum unit of information used in computing; and with it you can transfer the real world to a binary world of zeros and ones. But quantum computing, which applies the principles of quantum mechanics, is based on qubits; these can not only be zeros and ones, but also be 0 and 1 at a time, which gives a higher processing speed.

In addition, quantum computing works in parallel and can solve an exponential number of tasks at once; it would be differentiated from a normal PC, which does so sequentially: first solve one problem, then another and so on.

Medicine, materials design, financial services or artificial intelligence are the areas for which quantum computing has the greatest potential, according to IBM. Quantum computing “promises to be the next great technology that drives a new era of industrial innovation,” said IBM Research vice president Arvind Krishna in the statement.

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