IBM extends experimental universal quantum computing processors to 16, 17 qubits: Page 2 of 3

May 18, 2017 // By Graham Prophet
IBM extends experimental universal quantum computing processors to 16, 17 qubits
Can you think of anything to do with a 16-qubit quantum computer? IBM rather hopes you do, as it is offering access to its latest research machines, to explore the potential uses of the technology and help point the way from theoretical principle to real application. Developers, researchers and programmers have already carried out more than 300,000 quantum experiments on IBM Cloud, on prior prototype processors.

on the IBM Cloud and it will be the basis for the first IBM Q early-access commercial systems.


"The significant engineering improvements announced today will allow IBM to scale future processors to include 50 or more qubits, and demonstrate computational capabilities beyond today’s classical computing systems,” said Arvind Krishna, senior vice president and director of IBM Research and Hybrid Cloud. “These powerful upgrades to our quantum systems, delivered via the IBM Cloud, allow us to imagine new applications and new frontiers for discovery that are virtually unattainable using classical computers alone.”


The inherent computational power of a quantum processor to solve practical problems depends on far more than simply the number of qubits. Due to the fragile nature of quantum information, increasing the computational power requires advances in the quality of the qubits, how the qubits interact with each other, and in minimizing the quantum errors that can occur.


IBM has adopted a new metric to characterize the computational power of quantum systems: Quantum Volume . Quantum Volume accounts for the number and quality of qubits, circuit connectivity, and error rates of operations. IBM’s prototype commercial processor offers a significant improvement in the Quantum Volume. Over the next few years, IBM plans to continue to push the technology aggressively and aims to significantly increase the Quantum Volume of future systems by improving all aspects of the processors, including incorporating 50 or more qubits. Experts can learn more here:


While technologies that currently run on classical computers, such as Watson, can help find patterns and insights buried in vast amounts of existing data, quantum computers will deliver solutions to important problems where patterns cannot be found because there isn’t enough data and the possibilities that you need to explore to get to the answer are too enormous to ever be processed by classical computers.


Future applications of quantum computing may include:

- Business Optimization: Providing

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