IBM has reported that it now has 18 quantum systems on its IBM Cloud, a material step up from the same time last year. Dario Gil, a director at IBM Research, provided the figure in a a talk yesterday, as part of IBM’s Think event. The talk covered how users can access and program quantum computers on the IBM Cloud and how a community of tens of thousands of people is exploring quantum computing.
IBM has been a vocal player in the quantum computing market, and has done well at engaging the wider Quantum Computing community with events such as the Global Quantum Challenge this week. The 18 quantum system milestone is interesting but readers shouldn’t infer that IBM is “ahead” of others in Quantum Computing. The industry is nascent and our read of the increase in systems tells us more about the world taking the opportunity of Quantum Computing seriously, rather than any particular growing advantage for IBM (Google has 6 quantum systems that use a similar technology but has been less focussed on bringing these to market than IBM).