Quantum computing captures and processes information in a way that exploits the unique properties of elementary particles: electrons, atoms, and small molecules can exist in multiple energy states at once, a phenomenon The phenomenon is called superposition and the state of particles can become bound or entangled with each other. This means that information can be encoded and manipulated in novel ways, opening the door to a range of impossible computing tasks.
So far, quantum computers have not achieved anything useful that standard supercomputers cannot. That’s largely because they don’t have enough qubits, and because systems are easily disrupted by small perturbations in their environment that physicists call noise.
Researchers have explored ways to deal with noisy systems, but many expect that quantum systems will have to scale considerably to be truly useful, so that they can spend a fraction of their time. large your qubit to correct errors caused by noise.
IBM is not the first to set big goals. Google says it is targeting a million qubits by the end of the decade, although the correction means only 10,000 qubits are available for computation. Maryland-based IonQ is aiming to have 1,024 “logical qubits,” each of which will be formed from an error-correcting circuit of 13 physical qubits, performing calculations by 2028. Palo Alto-based PsiQuantum, like like Google, is also aiming to build a million-qubit quantum computer, but it does not disclose its time scale or error correction requirements.
Because of those requirements, quoting the physical number of qubits is a bit confusing—the specifics of how they are fabricated, affecting factors such as noise resilience and ease of use. their operation, is extremely important. The companies involved often provide additional performance measurements, such as “quantum mass” and the number of “algorithmic qubits”. Over the next decade, advances in error correction, qubit performance, and software-led “reduction” of errors, as well as key differences between different types of qubits, will make this race particularly difficult. monitor.
IBM qubits are now made from superconducting metal rings, which obey the same rules as atoms when operating at millikelvin temperatures, which are only a tiny fraction of a degree above absolute zero. In theory, these qubits could be operated in a large group. But according to IBM’s own roadmap, quantum computers of the kind it’s building can only scale up to 5,000 qubits with current technology. Most experts say it’s not large enough to yield much in the way of a useful calculation. To create powerful quantum computers, engineers will have to work bigger. And that will require new technology.