This is a big leap forward in the quantum computing world. The new computer will help bridge the gap between classical computers and the world of quantum physics.
Still in its experimental stages, quantum computing is limited by tricky physics, and the fact that quantum computers need to be stored at very cold and specific temperatures means that it limits the development of these systems.
But, when quantum computing works well, it can help solve computing problems that classical computers simply can't. For example, optimizing financial investment performance and delivering packages as time, and fuel-efficient as possible.
Qubits are what store quantum computers' data. Dario Gil, director of IBM Research, said: "The new quantum system is important because it offers a larger lattice and gives users the ability to run even more complex entanglement and connectivity experiments."
IBM and quantum computers
IBM's new machine will be part of the company's Quantum Computation Center in New York State. The Center will also house five other quantum computers, each with 20 qubits. The plan is to increase this number to 14 computers by next month.
IBM states that it will provide 95%service availability for its quantum computers.
This will be the first quantum computer available for outsiders via the cloud. https://t.co/ui1CyqFsMz— MIT Technology Review (@techreview) September 18, 2019
The new 53 qubitcomputer will introduce new techniques that will allow IBM to launch bigger, more reliable systems for cloud deployments. The custom electronics will be more compact, for example, which will improve scaling and bringing down error rates.
Gil also said, "Our global momentum has been extraordinary since we put the very first quantum computer on the cloud in 2016, with the goal of moving quantum computing beyond isolated lab experiments that only a handful organizations could do, into the hands of tens of thousands of users."
He continued, "The single goal of this passionate community is to achieve what we call Quantum Advantage, producing powerful quantum systems that can ultimately solve real problems facing our clients that are not viable using today’s classical methods alone, and by making even more IBM Quantum systems available we believe that goal is achievable."
IBM is clearly taking its quantum research seriously. The company currently has 80 partnerships, from a range of commercial companies, academic institutions, and research laboratories.
Some of these institutions have started using these systems to help solve real-world problems, but there's still a way to go until quantum computing is fully ready to solve these problems.