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IBM unveils its 'most powerful' 433-qubit quantum processor

The Osprey is three times more powerful than IBM's 127-qubit Eagle processor the company launched a year ago

IBM has unveiled its new 433-quantum bit (qubit) processor, while adding three new companies to its quantum network.

The company said the IBM Osprey, its new processor, has the largest qubit count of any IBM quantum computing processor, more than three times the number of qubits in its 127-qubit IBM Eagle processor released in 2021.

The processor is expected to run complex quantum computations beyond what normal computers are able to. To underline its power, IBM said that the number of classical bits that would be necessary to represent a state on the new processor far exceeds the total number of atoms in the known universe.

Additionally, IBM revealed its IBM Quantum System Two, its quantum system that’s designed to be modular and flexible by combining processors into a single system, is expected to be online by the end of 2023.

The company said this machine will be a building block of quantum-centric supercomputing. The company’s goal is to scale up its systems to over 4,000 qubits by 2025, which it says will go beyond the capabilities of existing physical electronics.

An image comparing the size of four different IBM chips

IBM

“The new 433 qubit ‘Osprey’ processor brings us a step closer to the point where quantum computers will be used to tackle previously unsolvable problems,” said Dr Darío Gil, senior vice president of IBM and director of research.

“We are continuously scaling up and advancing our quantum technology across hardware, software, and classical integration to meet the biggest challenges of our time, in conjunction with our partners and clients worldwide. This work will prove foundational for the coming era of quantum-centric supercomputing.”

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IBM has also added new companies to its IBM Quantum Network, made up of over 200 Fortune 500 companies, universities, laboratories and startups that are working towards a quantum future.

This includes Vodafone, to explore quantum computing and quantum-safe cryptography, the French bank Crédit Mutuel Alliance Fédérale, to find use cases in financial services, and Swiss innovation campus uptownBasel, to boost skill development and promote leading quantum and high-performance computing (HPC) projects.

The companies will have access to the world’s largest fleet of over 20 quantum computers which can be accessed through the quantum cloud, said IBM.

A cross-section of the new IBM Osprey quantum processor

IBM

“As we continue to increase the scale of quantum systems and make them simpler to use, we will continue to see adoption and growth of the quantum industry,” said Jay Gambetta, IBM fellow and VP of IBM Quantum.

“Our breakthroughs define the next wave in quantum, which we call quantum-centric supercomputing, where modularity, communication, and middleware will contribute to enhanced scaling computation capacity, and integration of quantum and classical workflows.”

A year ago, IBM unveiled the Eagle processor, the company’s first quantum chip that surpassed 100 qubits. IBM developed a new 3D packaging architecture to build the Eagle, and the company said it could be used to develop more advanced quantum processors in the future.

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