IBM revealed a new quantum computer along with a brand new quantum computing facility in New York. The new quantum computer comes with twice as many qubits (53 total) than its previous quantum computer (20 qubits) and supposedly with exponentially higher efficiency since the performance of quantum computer systems grows exponentially with the number of qubits.
The brand new computer will be the largest commercially available quantum PC yet when it launches mid-October. Beyond the higher number of qubits, it further comes with other enhancements, similar to a new quantum processor design with more compact custom electronics that reduce interference and error rates.
IBM has said before that it’s not a fan of chasing higher qubit counts. This is why it launched its “quantum volume” formula. It takes into consideration the number of qubits and the error rate. A high qubit number doesn’t imply too much unless the error rate is low enough, too. Also, users can’t do much with a quantum computer that has a handful of qubits and zero lapses. Users need a high number of qubits as well as the low error rate. Moreover, both these metrics need even better improvements in the coming days before they can be seen as useful for a larger variety of practical applications.
IBM’s “Quantum Advantage” is similar to Google’s “Quantum Supremacy.” Both aim to show that at least some applications can run faster on a quantum computer than they can on the fastest supercomputer on the planet.
IBM claims that it has 80 industrial, institutional, and tutorial partnerships in place, which gives IBM some validation that its quantum computer systems work, at the very least, for research functions.