IBM promises to push boundaries on a quantum computer roadmap

IBM has updated its roadmap for a number of key quantum technologies, including a 4,000-cubit system by 2025, an enhanced smart software instrumentation layer to distribute workloads and a version of its Qiskit Runtime software that allows developers to access a wider set of features in quantum. computer systems.

Working in concert, the next technologies are designed to do quantum computing more of a practical reality for users and developers, according to IBM, while also laying the technical foundation for quantum-centric supercomputers will come over the next several years. The newly added technologies will be unveiled this week IBM Think conferenceplays a central role in IBM’s Modular Quantum Computing initiative, a blueprint for building more powerful and scalable systems.

Modular quantum computing

The new computing model is anchored by three different approaches to scaling. The first combines modular quantum processors with classic infrastructure, both to be controlled Qiskit Runtime software. This sets developers up to build quantum calculations into their workflows.

Second, the company will use chip-level couplers that connect multiple chips, residing either within a single server or spread across multiple servers, that cause multiple chips to work in unison to solve a single problem. The third approach involves building quantum communication links between quantum processors. IBM will outline its proposal to deploy such links to connect sets of systems while Thinking.

“The connections connecting the chips are fast enough to enable the [entangled] gates between them to the point where users can’t tell if they’re dealing with one system or three, ”said Katie Pizzolato, director of IBM quantum strategy and application research.“ The infrastructure will be abstracted from the process to increase speed. . “

While IBM will show the power and speed of its upcoming hardware, Pizzolato said that from this week onwards, IBM will turn its focus more to tighter integration between the software and hardware.

IBM's quantum computing development roadmap
IBM’s quantum computing development roadmap to 2026 includes plans to scale up quantum applications.

Multi-processor quantum systems

One way to approach hardware and software is to do programming future quantum systems easier – use primitives built in the Qiskit Runtime software. Primitives can encapsulate common hardware queries into algorithms that can then be abstracted by developers and used for a variety of tasks, including application development.

“We will continue to expand these primitives with new capabilities,” Pizzolato said. “The main message here is, we’re pushing the boundaries of what we can do with existing systems using these techniques to make quantum computing more practical.”

Primivoj will also play a role in IBM’s ability to deliver quantum non-server capabilities into its core software by 2023, the company said. This is also designed to make it easier for developers to access both quantum and classical resources.

If you can run a program that solves a problem in 15 minutes instead of five hours, that’s a great thing.

Doug FinkeFounder, Quantum Computing Report

IBM’s use of multiprocessors in quantum computers is a natural development, similar to what happened in the classical systems world decades ago.

“In the days of IBM 360 mainframe computers, people only knew about monolithic, single-processor systems, but then people built data centers with multiple processors,” said Doug Finke, founder of Quantum Computing Report. “IBM is taking its first steps to do the same in the quantum industry. It will become quite common in the quantum world.”

Given the time it takes for classics and even some existing quantum computers to find answers to extremely complex problems, the additional speed a modular quantum system could provide would be welcomed by many IT shops and researchers.

“Users really care about how long it takes for a program to work,” Finke said. “If you can run a program that solves a problem in 15 minutes instead of five hours, that’s a great thing.”

Considering that the most important duty of Qiskit Runtime software is to make classic and quantum computers work together more efficiently, the software plays a critical role in providing additional processing speed.

The new additions to the roadmap will take advantage of IBM’s Quantum System Two capabilities, and will also add modularity and more flexibility to each layer of that system’s stack, as well as the ability to link multiple quantum systems.

As Editor-in-Chief with TechTarget’s Newsgroup, Ed Scannell is responsible for writing and reporting on the latest news, news analysis, and features focused on technology issues and trends affecting corporate IT professionals.

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