IBM’s Q System One: A Giant Step in Quantum Computing


Jan. 30 2019, Updated 1:29 p.m. ET

IBM’s Q System One

On January 30, Cnet.com’s Ben Rubin reported that IBM (IBM) has developed its Q System One—a powerful quantum computing tool. The Q System One was put on display by IBM during the CES tech show held on January 7–10 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The company’s quantum computer doesn’t resemble a typical computer but has enormous computing abilities. The Q System One reflects a massive step toward quantum computing for commercial applications.

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Quantum versus classical computing

In classical computing, data is masticated by processing bits of 0s and 1s. However, quantum computing uses qubits. The complex properties of qubits lets them form combinations of 0 or 1 at the same time as well as interact with each other. Each additional qubit doubles the amount of information of a quantum computer, which hugely increases the processing ability of a quantum computer. Tasks that aren’t possible on classical computers, such as writing strong security codes, creating advanced medicines, or processing large volumes of data at research labs, are possible with quantum computing.

Bob Sutor, leader of IBM’s Q System One team, said, “The Q System One currently uses 20 qubits. By the time you get up to around 280 [qubits], that number — two to the 280th power — is approximately the number of atoms in the observable universe.”

Sensing the vast potential in the quantum computing space (QQQ), Alphabet (GOOG), Microsoft (MSFT), and Intel (INTC) have entered the sphere. IBM has also partnered with major companies such as Daimler, ExxonMobil, and Samsung as part of its quantum computing ambitions.


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