IBM wants a 4,000 qubit quantum computer by 2025

ByErma F. Brown

May 12, 2022 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Credit: Dreamstime

IBM has grand plans for its quantum-computing systems but acknowledges much work needs to be done.

Big Blue announced its goal to build a 4,000 qubit system by 2025 at its Think! event this week saying it wanted to build practical quantum-computing systems that feature an intelligent software orchestration layer to efficiently distribute workloads and remove infrastructure challenges.

“We think by next year, we’ll begin prototyping quantum software applications for specific use cases,” IBM stated. “We’ll begin to define these services with our first test case — machine learning — working with partners to accelerate the path toward useful quantum software applications.”

The big goal is to build what by today’s terms would be a massive quantum computer — a 4,000+ qubit system built with clusters of quantum processors. IBM’s current quantum processor, Eagle, supports 127-qubit processing, and by the end of the year it expects to roll out Osprey, a 433-qubit processor, to be followed in 2023 by the 1,121-qubit Condor processor.

Getting to the immense goal IBM envisions will involve strapping together three 1,386 qubit multi-chip processors IBM calls Kookaburra for a total of 4,158-qubits.

To get to that goal IBM and its partners will need to develop tons of new software that can control and tie such systems together while eliminating errors that can drag down quantum work. 

“Our goal is to build quantum-centric supercomputers,” IBM researchers wrote in a blog about the vendor’s plans. “The quantum-centric supercomputer will incorporate quantum processors, classical processors, quantum communication networks, and classical networks, all working together to completely transform how we compute.”



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