IBM continues its growth in quantum computing. After introducing the Eagle in 2021, a 127-qubit processor equipped with more than twice the power of its competitors such as Google, the American founder has already taken a big technological step to exceed 400 qubits in 2022 and 1000 qubits in 2023. . “Beyond 1000 qubits, we will be able to demonstrate quantum advantage in appropriate cases”calculated Beatrice Kosovski, head of IBM in France.
Thus, this year the Osprey chip will be introduced, the power of which will reach 433 qubits. In 2023, the Condor processor should allow IBM to exceed 1100 qubits, which is a big target for Big Blue. And in 2024, the Flamingo processor will supply 1386 qubits. This scaling is essential for the sector, as quantum systems ranging from 200 to 500 qubits will make them commercially viable.
Three chips of 1386 qubits with a total capacity of 4158 qubits
IBM intends to go even further and has presented a very ambitious roadmap. The group identified three pillars for “opening the era of practical quantum computing”know “reliable and scalable hardware, state-of-the-art quantum software to organize and implement affordable and powerful quantum programs, and a vast global ecosystem of quantum-ready organizations and communities”.
These pillars should underpin the three steps that IBM has taken to 10x its quantum computing capabilities. Thus, the first task will be to “Create opportunities for classical communication and parallelization of operations between multiple processors. [avant de] deployment of short-range couplers at the chip level”. The final step will be “provide quantum communication channels between quantum processors”. All this to achieve the goal set for 2025 of creating a quantum computer with more than 4000 qubits. On this horizon, IBM hopes to introduce its Kookaburra processor, which will contain three chips of 1386 qubits with a total capacity of 4158 qubits.
“With our Qiskit Runtime platform, advances in software and hardware, and the theoretical goals outlined in our roadmap, we intend to usher in the era of quantum supercomputing, which will open up vast and powerful computing spaces for our developer community, our partners, and customers.”, said Dario Gil, senior vice president and director of research at IBM. After surpassing 4,000 qubits in 2025, the North American giant wants to develop machines with 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 exploring or plan to explore the use of next-generation quantum technologies. 43% expect new quantum technologies to lead to first commercial use within three to five years.
Firms that like these technologies the most are mainly in telecommunications (41%), aerospace and automotive (36%), and life sciences (30%). The quantum ecosystem received $3.2 billion in investment from global private venture capital in 2021, including $1 billion in the last quarter alone, according to The Quantum Insider.