IBM Plans to Commercialize Quantum Computers in 3-5 Years


25 January 2018
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Norishige Morimoto, Director of IBM Research in Tokyo and global vice president at IBM, said that IBM intends to commercialize quantum computers within 3-5 years, when he expects quantum computers to outperform supercomputers in specific domains.

IBM to Commercialize Quantum Computers

When speaking at the opening session of IBM think Summit Taipei held on May 22, Morimoto revealed that IBM intends to commercialize its next-generation quantum computers once the company has proven that they can beat supercomputers in finishing certain tasks faster.

Achieving “quantum supremacy,” the moment when quantum computers can beat world’s most powerful supercomputers, is an important milestone for quantum computers, because otherwise switching to an entirely different computing platform may not be justifiable. IBM has recently claimed that its quantum computers double in performance every year (on average), following a “Moore’s Law” of quantum computing of sorts.

The company’s latest System Q One quantum computing system has a 20-qubit quantum processor with a quantum volume of 16. Quantum volume is a quantum computing performance metric IBM believes is more accurate than just using qubits alone. Quantum volume uses a combination of the number of qubits and error rate to determine the real-world performance of a quantum processor. The company is currently giving others free and paid access to its existing quantum computers.

I've been watching this for quite a while, and I predicted about 2-3 years ago that IBM would make commercialized quantum computers a thing in the 2020s and definitely no later than 2030. This is, without-a-doubt, the most important advancement in modern computer technology ever since miniaturization itself (and a huge advancement in artificial intelligence).