IBM's Q System One is the world's first commercial quantum computer

IBM's Q System One is the world's first commercial quantum computer

IBM's Q System One is the world's first commercial quantum computer

This means - for the first time ever - universal approximate superconducting quantum computers can operate beyond the confines of the research lab.

Speaking at her keynote this morning, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty revealed the company's next step along its IBM Q quantum computing development process, an entirely new system that it hopes can greatly increase the reach and use of the technology. But quantum computers are still in the experimental phase.

Computers today store data in binary, as either zeroes or ones - strings of ones and zeroes represent numbers or letters. That's because they store data using qubits, which have a special property that allows zeroes and ones to exist simultaneously.

To design the IBM Q System One, IBM worked closely with design studios Map Project Office and Universal Design Studio, as well Goppion, the company that has built the display cases that house the U.K.'s crown jewels and the Mona Lisa, for instance.

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"These organizations will work directly with IBM scientists, engineers and consultants to explore quantum computing for specific industries". A quantum computer has to be kept well below freezing, in a mostly vibration- and electromagnetic radiation-free environment.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will use IBM Q systems as part of its quantum information science research to develop and simulate a variety of algorithms for studying strong correlation, environmental coupling, and excited state dynamics in molecular complexes and materials; novel error mitigation and circuit optimization techniques; and theories resembling the standard model in high-energy physics.

"The IBM Q System One is a major step forward in the commercialisation of quantum computing", said Arvind Krishna, senior vice president of Hybrid Cloud and director of IBM Research.

The IBM system also has its own Quantum firmware, which will manage the system health and enable system upgrades without downtime for users, claims the company.

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But along with bringing new levels of computing power, IBM's new release also represents a striking transformation in the look of quantum computing. The company now works with about 80 universities in the United States, Europe and Asia to explore next-generation energy technologies.

Google is researching how to make quantum computers more stable and better able to find and fix errors, and it has also created and tested qubit processors as it pursues the technology.

IBM is locked in a race with Alphabet Inc.'s Google, Microsoft Corp. and others in building machines that businesses can use to solve hard real-world problems now beyond the reach of the most powerful conventional supercomputers. Intel, too has been working on making big bets on quantum computing chips.

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