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IBM Reveals Breakthrough for Quantum Supercomputing

Written by Wed 9 Nov 2022

Picture of IBM's Dario Gil and Jay Gambetta and Jerry Chow Dario Gil, Jay Gambetta and Jerry Chow holding the new 433 qubit 'IBM Osprey' processor

IBM has announced new breakthroughs in hardware and software that outlines the path towards quantum supercomputing.

The new IBM Osprey processor has a qubit count of 433, making it the largest of any IBM quantum processor and more than triple of its predecessor – the IBM Eagle, which was unveiled in 2021.

“[The IBM 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 and Director of Research at IBM.

A qubit, or quantum bit, takes the two classical binary digits of 0 and 1 at the same time, allowing for more information to be stored. The number of classical bits needed to represent the state on the IBM Osprey processor exceeds the total number of atoms in the known universe – an unfathomable amount!

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

IBM also revealed updates to its next-generation, modular quantum system known as IBM Quantum System Two. The system combines multiple processors into a single system with communication links, allowing for scalability and flexibility when it comes to increasing computational capacity.

“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.

IBM’s Quantum System Two, which is expected to come online by the end of 2023, also uses hybrid cloud middleware to integrate quantum and classical workflows.

“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,” added Gambetta.

Cyber Security for Quantum Supercomputing

In order to keep systems and data safe from potential threat actors using quantum computers to decrypt today’s security standards like public keys, IBM announced a collaboration with Vodafone to explore quantum-safe cryptography and cyber security.

This partnership will allow IBM to validate and progress quantum use cases in telecommunications, while Vodafone will explore the application of IBM Quantum Safe cryptography technology across its entire network infrastructure and systems.

“Quantum technology has the potential to provide incredible network optimisation. It is the sort of innovation that existing computers will never achieve alone, allowing us to save energy, reduce costs and give customers great connectivity in more places,” said Luke Ibbetson, Head of Group R&D at Vodafone.

Existing quantum-safe cryptography protocols enable businesses to protect classical data sets, as well as future threats involving quantum computers used by cyber criminals.

“Vodafone is setting the example for their industry by exploring quantum computing applications for their business operations, as well as applying quantum-safe cryptography protocols to protect their long-term data and systems,” said Scott Crowder, Vice President for IBM Quantum Adoption and Business Development.

Vodafone has joined the IBM Quantum Network along with Bosch, French bank Crédit Mutuel Alliance Fédérale, and Swiss innovation campus uptownBasel to explore the application of quantum supercomputing across a variety of industries.

Read more: IBM begins quantum computer installation at Cleveland Clinic

Written by Wed 9 Nov 2022

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