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IBM announces that it has started building commercial quantum computers for business and science
IBM has announced that it has started building the first commercially available quantum computers in the world. The computers and services for the new line of computers, called “IBM Q” quantum systems, will be delivered over the IBM cloud platform. An API for the IBM Quantum Experience has been released too, that will allow developers to build interfaces between quantum computers and conventional computers, without the need for a deep understanding of quantum physics.
IBM also plans to release a complete SDK in the first half of 2017, that will allow developers to start creating simple applications and software programs for IBM quantum computers. The IBM Quantum Experience allows anyone to run simulations and algorithms on an IBM quantum processor, explore tutorials and simulations, as well as work with individual quantum bits. Users can connect to the quantum processor through IBM cloud.
The computers will significantly improve the capabilities of artificial intelligences such as IBM Watson. The artificial intelligence technologies that run on conventional computers process vast amounts of data to find patterns and insights. Solving problems where vast amounts of data does not exist takes impossibly long on conventional computers, because the machines have to process a large number of possibilities to get to the answer. IBM Q computers will deliver that capability.
Anyone can use IBM quantum computers for free through the Quantum Experience.
Arvind Krishna, senior vice president of Hybrid Cloud and director for IBM Research says, “IBM has invested over decades to growing the field of quantum computing and we are committed to expanding access to quantum systems and their powerful capabilities for the science and business communities. Following Watson and blockchain, we believe that quantum computing will provide the next powerful set of services delivered via the IBM Cloud platform, and promises to be the next major technology that has the potential to drive a new era of innovation across industries.”
IBM Q systems are being designed for a number of critical science applications. Drug and materials discovery stands to benefit as computers will be capable of tacking chemistry problems too difficult for conventional computers. Logistics, artificial intelligence, financial services and cloud security all stand to become more powerful.
Tom Rosamilia, senior vice president of IBM Systems, says, “Classical computers are extraordinarily powerful and will continue to advance and underpin everything we do in business and society. But there are many problems that will never be penetrated by a classical computer. To create knowledge from much greater depths of complexity, we need a quantum computer.”
For users who are interested in taking a deep dive, the specifications for the new quantum computers have been made available on GitHub, and IBM has provided sample scripts to demonstrate how the API works.