IBM has proven once again to be the leader in the computer industry and research. This time, in the race of quantum computing, the company has announced it has surpassed the quantum supremacy with a 50 qubits quantum processor. This achievement has left its competitors, Google and Intel, behind.
On Friday, Nov. 10, IBM revealed its two very powerful quantum processors. One processor is ready for use, and the other one is currently in development at IBM Q Labs. This marked the dawn of the quantum computing era.
The ready for use processor operates on 20 qubits processing power, while the one that surpasses the quantum supremacy is the 50 qubits prototype. IBM researchers have conducted decades of research in quantum computing to elevate the capacity of the current model of computers. This 50 qubits prototype has surpassed the quantum supremacy landmark, which was set at 49 qubits.
Earlier this year, Google announced the achievement of six qubits of processing power in its quantum computing chips. When the head of the research working group at Google, John Martinis, proudly presented his six qubits chip in April, Google set the target to achieve the quantum supremacy landmark by the end of the year. However, IBM has surpassed Google with last week’s announcement.
Quantum computing is the next level of the computer system. It goes beyond the conventional computing model that utilizes bits to make data computations. Quantum computing operates in the complex quantum physics and quantum mechanics model.
In the quantum computing model, the computation of data is performed using the quantum mechanics model such as superposition, atomic spectra, and matrix mechanics. With the quantum mechanics model, data computation is conducted in the quantum bits or qubits. In the qubits, data are able to take more positions other than 0 or 1, as normal bits work. This ability to take both 0 and 1 in the data computation is called superposition.
The ability to calculate data with the quantum mechanics model is enormous. Quantum computing will be able to generate a very secure encrypted password, as it is able to take superposition that will make password cracking software fail to guess its combination. Nanotechnology and chemistry research will also be able to perform complicated calculations with the quantum bits computation.
However, it is difficult to implement the qubits computation in computer processors. Therefore, quantum computing is still in its infancy phase. Three of the computer industry leaders, IBM, Google, and Intel, are currently in the race to bring quantum computing to real life. Watch the explanation of how quantum computing works below.
[Featured Image by Mary Altaffer/AP Images]