IBM has been pushing the envelope of modern computing in many ways. The very first commercial usage of computers was made by IBM and later it hosted a cornucopia of modern computing solutions including its sophisticated cloud computing platform. It is no surprise that IBM has entered quantum computing. The so called Quantum Experience (QX) launched by IBM in 2016, allowed users to access a 5 bit quantum computer remotely using cloud. IBM is the first company to commercialize the usage of quantum computer and it intends to continue its efforts by developing a 20 Qubit Quantum Computer this year.
For its earlier experiment with 5 Qubit quantum experience 40,000 researchers and general users participated and their efforts resulted in 275,000 experiments. That is a big win for IBM. Some users also tried to develop games such as “quantum battleships” according to wikipedia.
Quantum computing can be applied directly in many fields. Where our modern super computers fail us Quantum computers lead the way. These Qubits are very similar to bits in computer. A detailed overview of quantum computers is discussed in this article. So, more the number of Qubits more is the power of computation.
In a way, for IBM making a 20 Qubit commercial quantum computer available via cloud is a quantum leap. In just 18 months, IBM was able to develop a 20 Qubit quantum computer, expecting a 50 Qubit or 100 Qubit quantum computer from IBM is not a big deal now. Any time next year, they may announce a 50 Qubit QX.
The applications of this, extends to artificial intelligence, supply chain and logistics, financial services, medical research and more. More common usage would be in applications demanding optimization techniques. Searching a minimum or maximum even by using advanced search algorithms sometimes would take days to compute. Quantum computer takes advantage of parallel computing and converges the algorithm faster than usual.
Quantum computing is an incremental process. Some researchers believe that quantum computing can break modern encryption and it is quite possible, if Shor’s algorithm is implemented using a quantum computer. Though the day that happens is not today, but it is in the near future. The pace at which this field is accelerating is significant. Anything can happen tomorrow.
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