IBM charts path to 1000 qubit quantum processor with new performance metric

November 18, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
IBM charts path to 1000 qubit quantum processor with new performance metric
IBM has designed a quantum processor with 127 qubits and set out a roadmap to get to more than 1,000 qubits over the next two years.

IBM's cryogenically-cooled 127 qubit Eagle processor is part of a roadmap with a focus on reaching 1000 qubits for solving real world problems,

IBM has also introduced a metric for the performacne of quantum processors. Similar to MIPS or FLOPS, Circuit Layer Operations Per Second (CLOPS) is a measure of how real calculatoins can be run on a quantum computer. 

The Eagle processor will be followed by the 433-qubit Osprey chip in 2022 and then the 1,121-qubit Condor chip in 2023 as a measure of the scale of a system and determines how large of a quantum circuit can be run. Quality is measured by Quantum Volume and describes how accurately quantum circuits run on a real quantum device. Speed is measured by CLOPS.

IBM researchers built on the learning from the 65 qubit 'Hummingbird' processor unveiled in 2020 and the 27-qubit 'Falcon' processor unveiled in 2019 such as a qubit arrangement design to reduce errors and an architecture to reduce the number of necessary components. The new techniques ued in Eagle place control wiring on multiple physical levels within the processor while keeping the qubits on a single layer, which enables a significant increase in qubits. However the system does not appear to use error correction.

"The arrival of the 'Eagle' processor is a major step towards the day when quantum computers can outperform classical computers for useful applications," said Dr. Darío Gil, Senior Vice President, IBM and Director of Research. "Quantum computing has the power to transform nearly every sector and help us tackle the biggest problems of our time. This is why IBM continues to rapidly innovate quantum hardware and software design, building ways for quantum and classical workloads to empower each other, and create a global ecosystem that is imperative to the growth of a quantum industry."

The first 'Eagle' processor is available as an exploratory device on the IBM Cloud. IBM has also previewed plans for IBM Quantum System Two, the next generation of quantum systems.

research.ibm.com

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