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IBM Quantum Computing: Taking Big Blue Into Big New Era

IBM Quantum

From office machines to mainframe computers and from typewriters to the Metaverse, the one constant in the evolution in technology over the last century has been IBM. Based on the current roadmap into the quantum future, IBM Quantum Computing has laid out a path to take Big Blue into this big new era.

The following is an overview of IBM Quantum and its full-stack approach that couples quantum hardware, quantum software and quantum cloud service with a keen grasp of education and community building.

IBM Quantum Tech and Tools Advantages

IBM Quantum Hardware

IBM Quantum hardware is already several generations along in the path of development.

The company has continually worked to develop an architecture that will lay the groundwork for processors with increasingly more qubits. Using a superconducting qubit modality, IBM introduced “Eagle,” a 127-qubit processor in late 2021. In the spring of 2022, the company announced it expected to release the 433-qubit processor, Osprey.

IBM Quantum
IBM Quantum System One is one of the most recognizable quantum computing systems.

The IBM Quantum team said its 1,000-qubit machine, called “Condor,” is slated to arrive in 2023.

The development of IBM quantum has been nothing less than startling.

“In just two years, our team has made incredible progress on our existing quantum roadmap. Executing on our vision has given us clear visibility into the future of quantum and what it will take to get us to the practical quantum computing era,” said Dario Gil, Senior Vice President, Director of Research, IBM. “With quantum serverless operations and the advances in hardware, software, and theory outlined in our roadmap, we will usher in an era of quantum-centric supercomputers that will open up large and powerful computational spaces for our partners and clients.”

IBM Quantum Software

Experts recognize that IBM Quantum is both a pioneer — and a current leader — in developing software for quantum computers that will support the rapidly emerging quantum industry. Its Qiskit software is used by a range of groups interested in exploiting the power of quantum computation, from students of quantum to quantum researchers to developers at companies and startups creating quantum applications. Qiskit, itself, is considered an intuitive quantum development platforms for circuit-level programming.

The company has some of the most popular software tools, such as Composer and Lab, that, as we will discuss later is encouraging learning and community building around IBM Quantum’s ecosystem.

IBM Quantum Cloud

IBM Quantum offers cloud access to their quantum computers, improving access to quantum by allowing users to learn, develop and run programs.

Qiskit Runtime is IBM Quantum’s cloud native service, which allows users to run quantum applications in an accessible and less expensive way. The company recently announced it delivered a 120x speedup in quantum runtimes delivered via the Qiskit Runtime software platform.

IBM Quantum Education and Community-Building

While IBM’s quantum hardware, software and cloud services are impressive, arguably the company has established itself as the industry’s leading quantum community leader and teacher. IBM Quantum has established a network of quantum hubs that stretches across the globe. There are approximately 210 and growing Fortune 500 companies, universities, laboratories and startups in the network.

IBM does not stop at educating technology experts, such as researchers in Early on, the company provided free access to online interactive tutorials to the general population, many of whom were just interested in quantum or considered themselves hobbyists looking to explore quantum tech. This drove the spread of IBM’s quantum tools, such as Qiskit, beyond the gates of universities and walls of big business.

IBM Quantum Community

How big is IBM with the quantum community? According to a new poll from the Unitary Fund, which supports the growth of the quantum open source community, about 81% of respondents said they rely on IBM’s Qiskit — including Qiskit Aer — making it the most popular library.

The free educational programs and tutorials ensured that this just wasn’t a large group of IBM quantum fans, but a team of users that was growing in knowledge and skills. This large, smart and talented group of people — equipped with IBM Quantum tools and technology — are essential for a quantum workforce — and a quantum workforce is absolutely essential in establishing the quantum computing era.

To stay up to date with the latest industry visit our dedicated page where we cover all the latest quantum computing news.

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Matt Swayne

With a several-decades long background in journalism and communications, Matt Swayne has worked as a science communicator for an R1 university for more than 12 years, specializing in translating high tech and deep tech for the general audience. He has served as a writer, editor and analyst at The Quantum Insider since its inception. In addition to his service as a science communicator, Matt also develops courses to improve the media and communications skills of scientists and has taught courses. [email protected]

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