IBM Unveils Quantum Computing System for Commercial Use

IBM has unveiled IBM Q System One. Describing the Q System One as the world's first integrated universal approximate quantum computing system designed for scientific and commercial use, IBM also announced plans to open its first IBM Q Quantum Computation Center for commercial clients in Poughkeepsie, NY, in 2019.

According to IBM, the Q systems are designed to one day tackle problems that are currently seen as too complex and exponential in nature for classical systems to handle. Future applications of quantum computing may include finding new ways to model financial data and isolating key global risk factors to make better investments, or finding the optimal path across global systems for ultra-efficient logistics and optimizing fleet operations for deliveries, the company says.

Designed by IBM scientists, systems engineers and industrial designers, IBM Q System One has a modular and compact design optimized for stability, reliability and continuous commercial use, and enables universal approximate superconducting quantum computers to operate beyond the confines of the research lab.

Much as classical computers combine multiple components into an integrated architecture optimized to work together, IBM says it is applying the same approach to quantum computing with the first integrated universal quantum computing system. IBM Q System One is comprised of a number of custom components that work together to serve as the most advanced cloud-based quantum computing program available, including Quantum hardware designed to be stable and auto-calibrated to give repeatable and predictable high-quality qubits; cryogenic engineering that delivers a continuous cold and isolated quantum environment; high precision electronics in compact form factors to tightly control large numbers of qubits; quantum firmware to manage the system health and enable system upgrades without downtime for users; and classical computation to provide secure cloud access and hybrid execution of quantum algorithms.

The IBM Q Quantum Computation Center opening later this year in Poughkeepsie, New York, will also expand the IBM Q Network commercial quantum computing program, which already includes systems at the Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown, New York. The new center will be accessible to members of the IBM Q Network, a worldwide community of leading Fortune 500 companies, startups, academic institutions, and national research labs working with IBM to advance quantum computing and explore practical applications for business and science

The free and publicly available IBM Q Experience has been continuously operating since May of 2016 and now has more than 100,000 users, who have run more than 6.7 million experiments and published more than 130 third-party research papers.

Developers have also downloaded Qiskit, a full-stack, open-source quantum software development kit, more than 140,000 times to create and run quantum computing programs.