IBM Announces Launch of Quantum Computers
IBM has announced that it will start production on commercially available quantum computers, to be sold under the name IBM Q and available via Big Blue’s cloud service. Besides IBM Q, the company will also offer a special API for developers that want to build bridges between existing quantum computers and more regular ones, as well as an advanced simulator that should allow programmers to work directly with these revolutionary machines.
Though current computers can run millions of computations in a second, quantum processing will be yet another leap forward. IBM is hoping that by jumping on this new train as it is still leaving the station, it can cement its market position in this segment before any other major competitors. As the IBM Q will be several powers beyond anything available now, the company is hoping that users in industries as varied as financial services, AI, and security can benefit directly from the massive number-crunching power they will now have at their disposal.
The IBM Q, as planned now, will be able to process up to five qubit — the quantum equivalent of a regular bit — while the planned simulation, the Quantum Experience, can handle up to 20 qubit. When it’s made accessible, IBM will also deliver a full SDK for developers to run wild with. Currently, IBM thinks that the focus of any program created for use on the IBM Q should be chemistry as there is a wide array of problems in that field that should be solveable by simply throwing a huge amount of computing power at it.
Whether IBM will be able to conquer any market share with the IBM Q or the other project of course remains to be seen, but it is not surprising that one of the oldest computer makers in the world is getting in on this revolutionary new technology.
Fergus has been tinkering with computers since he was a kid and likes to put a stop to parties by listing the specs of all the digital devices in the room. It's best not to let him near your computer since he'll take it apart and may not put it back together again before he leaves.