IBM has announced plans for the world’s first ever commercial quantum computing programme, preparing for a new age of technology.
Quantum computing is the next frontier in computer technology, envisioned to enable unfathomable levels of processing.
“We are flipping the switch on something that doesn’t exist today,” says IBM’s Dario Gil. “At its core, quantum is a radical new computing model that harnesses the power and rules of nature to address problems that are impractical to solve with today’s systems.”
IBM says that its Research Frontiers Institute, consisting of Samsung, JSR, Honda, Hitachi Metals, Canon and Nagase, plans to “deliver a universal quantum computer to select early access partners within the next few years”.
This single computer will potentially take on problems that, as of today, have no real solutions.
IBM already offers its Quantum Experience to certain parties, a cloud-based processing tool that can handle up to 20 qubits (quantum bits).
One roadblock to easy quantum computing is the in-depth knowledge of quantum physics needed to grasp important concepts. IBM has recently attempted to bypass this with the inclusion of a new API for its Quantum Experience that can “run batches of commands using scripted languages”.
The company believes that quantum computing will, in future, play a massive role in several fields. One such field is drug and materials discovery, processing the complex interactions between chemicals.
Artificial intelligence is also likely to benefit, with more processing power enabling more sophisticated artificial thinking.
Watch a video on IBM's quantum project here: