IBM Q opens up quantum computing to businesses

Big Blue plans to hit 50 qubits in the next few years

quantum computing

IBM plans to build the first very powerful universal quantum computers for business and science - but it may not happen for some time yet.

IBM Q, as the product is called, will deliver quantum systems and services via Bluemix, IBM's cloud platform. According to IBM, it will be the first initiative in the industry to build commercially available quantum computing systems, but there's no release date yet.

Advertisement - Article continues below

This is because, despite the excited tone of IBM's announcement, what's really being announced is a roadmap and aspirations for the technology. The company said it "aims [to construct] commercial IBM Q systems with ~50 qubits in the next few years".

Nevertheless, the company's ambitions are worth noting, with quantum computing is expected to revolutionise the way large-scale computation is done.

"Classical computers are extraordinarily powerful and will continue to advance and underpin everything we do in business and society. But there are many problems that will never be penetrated by a classical computer. To create knowledge from much greater depths of complexity, we need a quantum computer," said Tom Rosamilia, senior vice president of IBM Systems.

"We envision IBM Q systems working in concert with our portfolio of classical high-performance systems to address problems that are currently unsolvable, but hold tremendous untapped value."

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

IBM does have an existing quantum computer, dubbed the Quantum Experience, which has been delivered via the cloud since last May. It currently has five qubits, but will be able to model 20-qubit computers thanks to an upgrade to its simulator. IBM plans to release tools for companies to build simple quantum applications on it by June.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Arvind Krishna, senior vice president of hybrid cloud and director for IBM Research, said: "IBM has invested over decades to growing the field of quantum computing and we are committed to expanding access to quantum systems and their powerful capabilities for the science and business communities.

"Following Watson and blockchain, we believe that quantum computing will provide the next powerful set of services delivered via the IBM Cloud platform, and promises to be the next major technology that has the potential to drive a new era of innovation across industries."

While quantum computing will make disciplines like analytics and Big Data more useful and insightful, the security community in particular has concerns around the technology. Quantum could render current cryptographic algorithms completely defunct, meaning new technologies to protect data will have to be developed in tandem.

Featured Resources

Key considerations for implementing secure telework at scale

Identifying the security risks and advanced requirements of a remote workforce

Download now

The State of Salesforce 2020

Your guide to getting the most from Salesforce

Download now

Fast, flexible and compliant e-signatures for global businesses

Be at the forefront of digital transformation with electronic signatures

Download now

Rethink your cybersecurity strategy for the new world

5 steps to secure the enterprise and be fit for a flexible future

Download now
Advertisement

Recommended

IBM Cloud launches centralised security and compliance hub
cloud computing

IBM Cloud launches centralised security and compliance hub

22 Jul 2020
IBM teams with Adobe and Red Hat to drive personalized customer experiences
Cloud

IBM teams with Adobe and Red Hat to drive personalized customer experiences

20 Jul 2020
IBM unveils AI-powered inventory control system
artificial intelligence (AI)

IBM unveils AI-powered inventory control system

2 Jul 2020
Mercedes heads to the cloud as Daimler expands IBM agreement
cloud computing

Mercedes heads to the cloud as Daimler expands IBM agreement

2 Jul 2020

Most Popular

How to find RAM speed, size and type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

3 Aug 2020
How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi
Mobile

How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi

4 Aug 2020
UN report points to a 350% rise in phishing websites at start of 2020
phishing

UN report points to a 350% rise in phishing websites at start of 2020

7 Aug 2020