IBM has announced an initiative to build commercially available universal quantum computing systems. These “IBM Q” quantum systems and services will be delivered through the IBM Cloud platform.
The company has also announced the release of a new Application Program Interface (API) for the IBM Quantum Experience that enables developers and programmers to begin building interfaces between its existing five quantum bit (quibit) cloud-based quantum computer and classical computers, without needing a deep background in quantum physics. This goes along with the release of an upgraded simulator on the IBM Quantum Experience that can model circuits with up to 20 quibits.
IBM also plans to release a full Software Development Kit (SDK) on the IBM Quantum Experience for users to build simple quantum applications and software programs. This will become available in the first half of 2017.
According to IBM, Quantum Experience enables anyone to connect to the company’s quantum processor through the IBM Cloud, to run algorithms and experiments, work with the individual quantum bits, and explore tutorials and simulations around what might be possible with quantum computing.
As a first step to increase Quantum Volume, IBM is aiming to construct commercial IBM Q systems with ~50 quibits in the next few years to demonstrate capabilities beyond today’s classical systems, and plans to collaborate with key industry partners to develop applications that exploit the quantum speedup of the systems.
“IBM has invested over decades to growing the field of quantum computing and we are committed to expanding access to quantum systems and their powerful capabilities for the science and business communities,” said Arvind Krishna, senior vice president of Hybrid Cloud and director for IBM Research.
“Following Watson and blockchain, we believe that quantum computing will provide the next powerful set of services delivered via the IBM Cloud platform, and promises to be the next major technology that has the potential to drive a new era of innovation across industries.”