<p>A laser tests the optical waveguide of a chip for quantum computing in a laboratory at the technology company Q.ant in Stuttgart</p>

A laser tests the optical waveguide of a chip for quantum computing in a laboratory at the technology company Q.ant in Stuttgart

IBM claims it has made a quantum chip that cannot be simulated by classical computers in major breakthrough

Andrew Griffin
Monday 15 November 2021 17:37
Comments

IBM says it has built a quantum processor that it says cannot be simulated by a classical computer.

If true, the processor would represent a major breakthrough in quantum computing, which its proponents say could lead to radical changes in how we are able to deal with information.

The company says that the quantum processor is so capable that to simulate its capabilities with a traditional computer, one would require more bits than there are atoms in every person in existence.

Quantum computers have long been heralded as the future of computing. But actually using them practically has proven difficult, with reliable and large-scale examples of the technology hard to build.

IBM says it has made a step forward in doing so by creating a new design that puts components on different layers, and the qubits – the quantum version of bits – all on their own layer,  according to Engadget, which reported the breakthrough.

Some details are still not clear about the Eagle processor. It says that it is still in an experimental stage and that it is being explored for now.

The company has refused to announce how it performs on measures of “quantum volume”, for instance – a metric first introduced by IBM to more easily compare the performance of different quantum systems. That makes it difficult to say exactly how capable the processor is, and how it might compare with others.

IBM has also resisted hailing its breakthrough as an example of “quantum supremacy”, a milestone that refers to the moment when a quantum computer is able to do calculations that a classical computer is not. Instead, it says the system is a step towards that.

Google and IBM had a public spat in 2019 when Google claimed it had reached quantum supremacy in a widely hailed breakthrough. IBM pointed out, however, that it was an “indefensible” use of the phrase since the Google computer could only solve one specific equation.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in