IBM has used CES 2019 to launch what it claims is the world’s first commercial quantum computing system, developed with UK design studios Map Project Office and Universal Design Studio.
The 20-qubit Q System One sits in a glass-enclosed, air-tight environment and is described by the company as “the world’s first integrated universal approximate quantum computing system designed for scientific and commercial use”.
The IBM Q System One is comprised of a number of custom components, including:
– Quantum hardware intended to be stable and auto-calibrated to give repeatable and predictable high-quality qubits;
– Cryogenic engineering intended to provide cooling in an isolated quantum environment;
– High precision electronics in compact form factors to tightly control large numbers of qubits;
– Quantum firmware to manage the system health and enable system upgrades without downtime for users; and
– Classical computation to provide secure cloud access and hybrid execution of quantum algorithms.
The cloud access will supplement the on-premise machine, following IBM’s 2017 move to provide quantum computing in the cloud.
The physical design of the machine is deliberately futuristic. The device sits in a striking 2.7-metre cube crafted from 1.27-centimetre thick borosilicate glass forming a sealed, airtight enclosure.
This opens using “roto-translation”, a motor-driven rotation that makes it simple to maintain and upgrade the machine while minimising downtime, according to IBM.
“This new system is critical in expanding quantum computing beyond the walls of the research lab as we work to develop practical quantum applications for business and science,” said Arvind Krishna, senior vice president of Hybrid Cloud and director of IBM Research.
At the same time, IBM also announced the opening of a commercial Q Quantum Computation Center in Poughkeepsie, New York later this year.
The announcement comes after IBM unveiled a prototype commercial quantum computer in 2017.
Watch IBM Q System One video on YouTube.