IBM promises a quantum computer with more than 4,000 qubits by 2025


IBM presented its roadmap for reaching new heights in quantum computing. After 2026, the American giant will develop machines with a computing power of between 10,000 and 100,000 qubits.

© Getty – Misha Friedman

IBM continues its progress in quantum computers. After unveiling in 2021 the Eagle, a 127 qubit processor, more than twice as well equipped as its competitors, such as Google, the US founder had already taken a major technological step to exceed 400 qubits by 2022 and 1000 qubits from 2023. “In addition to 1000 qubits, we will be able to demonstrate the quantum advantage on relevant cases”rated Béatrice Kosowski, head of IBM France.

The Osprey chip, whose power will reach 433 qubits, will thus be revealed this year. By 2023, the Condor processor should allow IBM to exceed 1100 qubits, a big target for Big Blue. And by 2024, the Flamingo processor will deliver 1386 qubits. This upscaling is crucial for the sector, as quantum systems in the range of 200 to 500 qubits would make them commercially viable.

Three 1386-qubit chips for a total power of 4158 qubits

IBM intends to go even further and has presented a very ambitious roadmap. The group has identified three pillars for “inaugurates an era of practical quantum computation”to know “robust and scalable hardware, advanced quantum software to orchestrate and enable accessible and powerful quantum applications, and a large global ecosystem of quantum-ready organizations and communities”.

These columns must be the core of the three steps implemented by IBM to tenfold its quantum computing capacity. The challenge thus becomes first to “create opportunities to classically communicate and parallelize operations across multiple processors [avant de] implement short-range couplings at chip level “. The last step will be “provide quantum communication links between quantum processors”. All this to achieve the goal set for 2025 of a quantum computer with more than 4000 qubits. In this horizon, IBM hopes to unveil its Kookaburra processor, which will carry three 1386 qubit chips for a total power of 4158 qubits.

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“With our Qiskit Runtime platform, advances in software, hardware and theoretical goals outlined in our roadmap, we intend to usher in an era of quantum supercomputers that will open huge and powerful computing spaces for our community of developers, our partners and customers. “, said Darío Gil, senior vice president and research director at IBM. Having exceeded 4,000 qubits by 2025, the North American giant wants to develop machines that offer computing power between 10,000 and 100,000 qubits, but rather towards the end of the decade.


First commercial use in three to five years?

According to a study published by the Capgemini Research Center, 23% of companies worldwide are studying or planning to study the use of next-generation quantum technologies. 43% expect that new quantum technologies will lead to first commercial application within three to five years.

The companies that are most happy with these technologies operate mainly in telecommunications (41%), aerospace and automotive (36%) and life sciences (30%). By 2021, the quantum ecosystem benefited from $ 3.2 billion in investments from global private venture capital, including $ 1 billion in the last quarter alone, according to The Quantum Insider.

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