Technology

The promise of quantum computers

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The future of computing will be different. While current classical computers use transistors and logical circuits, IBM predicts that different kinds of technologies will be used in the future to optimize and solve problems we currently have only limited capabilities to resolve in due time.

While today’s computers excel in classic logical problems, mankind has always struggled to comprehend and simulate nature, as nature is in fact not very classical. As Richard P. Feynman (Department of Physics, California Institute of Technology) is famously quoted “I’m not happy with all the analyses that go with just the classical theory, because nature isn’t classical, dammit, and if you want to make a simulation of nature, you’d better make it quantum mechanical …”1).

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The future of computing will follow the current paradigm of hybrid solutions just like cloud is currently revolutionizing how compute power is made available. Quantum-based technology from IBM, via the IBM Q, is already available via IBM Cloud and clients can combine the power of classical compute technologies with quantum.

https://www.ibm.com/quantum-computing/_nuxt/img/5065e31.pngIBM Q System One from the outside

The promise of quantum computers

Quantum computers are fundamentally different from classical computers using bits. A classical bit has the state of 1 or 0 at any point in time. A quantum bit, however, can not only take on those values but can represent a combination of 0 and 1 while we are computing. We call them qubits. When we measure a qubit, it collapses to either 0 or 1 based on probability. By using the quantum mechanical capabilities of entanglement, superposition and interference, we can tackle problems being practically impossible using classical computers. Using quantum algorithms, we can make better optimization of financial scenarios, model physical processes of nature, simulate chemical reactions, predict the impact of diseases based on simulations, etc. The possibilities are endless when you have the exponential compute power of a quantum computer available.

Current state of IBM Q

IBM has a significant momentum with IBM Q and already has the first universal approximate quantum computer available for commercial use with the IBM Q System One. This marks a significant landmark in the evolution of quantum computers and with the addition of 53-qubit IBM Q for broad use, IBM has the largest current fleet of quantum computers available for public use within the IBM Cloud.

https://www.ibm.com/blogs/research/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/ibm_q_monolith_001-274x300.jpegInside the IBM Q System one

IBM is continuously advancing the Qiskit development framework as open-source to give the global community of developers, direct access to the IBM Q capabilities. Thousands of developers are already using Qiskit to develop the future algorithms to tackle the problems where quantum computers excel. However, for those who aren’t coding on a daily basis, the Aqua library in Qiskit provides abstract level tools suitable for domain experts within chemistry, AI, optimization and finance without quantum computing expertise, as a number of standard tools used in these domains have been implemented as their corresponding quantum algorithms. For more information, take a look at https://qiskit.org/

IBM is building the IBM Q Network with a substantial list of partners, academic as well as clients, to advance the use of quantum computers. Partners include J.P. Morgan Chase, Mitsubishi Chemical2) and academic institutions like MIT, Princeton and Chalmers University of Technology3).

Getting started

If you are ready to get started with IBM Q and the fascinating world of quantum computers, IBM has many interesting sources available on https://ibm.com/ibmq. Here you find walkthroughs of the technology, even more info on how to get started and how to sign up to get access to the real quantum computers available via IBM Cloud.

Locally we have facilitated a number of workshops and talks for clients and partners already. If your organization has the desire to learn more about how IBM Q will impact your industry, please do not hesitate to reach out to our local contacts including Jan Lillelund (janl@dk.ibm.com), Stig Ridler (stig.ridler@dk.ibm.com), Emil Reinert (emil.reinert@ibm.com) or Alexander Lillelund (alexander.lillelund@ibm.com).

To get started on algorithms and the Qiskit, we have a number of very interesting tutorials available on https://ibm.biz/Bd2Wip

References:

1) International Journal of Theoretical Physics, Vol 21, Nos. 6/7, 1982

2) https://newsroom.ibm.com/2019-09-18-IBM-Opens-Quantum-Computation-Center-in-New-York-Brings-Worlds-Largest-Fleet-of-Quantum-Computing-Systems-Online-Unveils-New-53-Qubit-Quantum-System-for-Broad-Use

3) https://newsroom.ibm.com/2019-07-03-Leading-European-institutions-partner-with-IBM-to-accelerate-joint-research-and-educational-opportunities-in-quantum-computing

Enterprise Business Unit Technical Leader

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