IBM has completed their first standalone quantum computer. Instead of actually selling the hardware they’ve decided to rent out the computers superior processing capability so that potential clients may perform quantum calculations over the internet.
It is encased inside of a 9ft glass cube, within which a small reinforced chamber contains sensitive entangled subatomic particles, otherwise known as “qubits”, the main unit of computation in quantum computing. Those qubits are suspended from one of several highly polished steel cylinders that help protect them from interference.
The hardware setup also includes several tanks of liquid helium, and other cryogenic equipment that are used to keep subatomic particles close to absolute zero – a temperature where atoms cease to vibrate completely. Extremely cold temperatures are currently a prerequisite for these advanced computations.
The quantum computers iconic yellow hanging racks control each qubit and interpret their output. This proprietary electronic system helps to keep temperatures perfect and reduce vibration, which would otherwise lead to cross-talk and decay of signal integrity. This inevitably allowed the final product to perform just as well as their initial success in laboratory experiments.
At 75 microseconds, IBM has allegedly broken the record in coherence time for general purpose quantum computers. Their model is built so that engineers and technicians can actually walk inside of it- the front panel opens like a door allowing them to perform maintenance and check ups on sensitive equipment contained inside.
When asked if they would ever sell one of their computers, Mr Gil said: “You could envision it, for sure,” though they currently have no plans to do so.
Their device called IBM Q System One, was revealed at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
About a month ago Ion-Q revealed their powerful room temperature quantum computing prototype that may eventually rival larger companies like IBM.
In other news scientists propose that the space-time geometry surrounding a black hole, behaves akin to a quantum computer.