IBM today (Nov. 9, 2022) announced the Osprey, its most powerful quantum computer to date, a 433-qubit machine with three times the number of qubits as its Eagle machine announced last year.
Although different quantum computer companies make different claims about the power of their qubits, which can be created in a variety of ways, the number of qubits, or quantum bits, is an indication of the power of the quantum computer that uses quantum mechanics.
Quantum computers are expected to one day perform certain calculations millions of times faster than today’s fastest supercomputers.
Dario Gil, IBM’s director of research, stated that the company is still on track to launch a computer with more than 1000 qubits, but that it is working on a new strategy for further scaling.
“As we push the limits of the size of the Osprey chip that we’re announcing, if you look at it, it’s really big already. Next year, 1000 is going to be very big,” he said. “So after that, we have been designing and engineering the whole architecture for quantum computing based on modularity.”
“Quantum System Two is the first truly modular quantum computing system so that you can continue to scale to larger and larger systems over time,” Gil told Reuters ahead of the IBM Quantum Summit this week. “Modularity means the chips themselves are going to have to be interconnected to one another.”
IBM stated that it expects this system to be functional by the end of next year and that it will serve as the foundation for “quantum-centric supercomputing” by connecting multiple Quantum System Two. By connecting three of these systems, IBM claims it can create a system with up to 16,632 qubits.
Customers can access IBM’s over 20 quantum computers around the world via the cloud.