IBM claims quantum computing breakthroughs

IBM logoBig Blue – first to develop the hard drive – said today its researchers have made two breakthroughs towards creating a practical quantum computer.

IBM said it had created the ability to detect and measure both kinds of quantum errors simultaneously and has also shown off a square quantum bit circuit design that it believes is the only physical design capable of scaling.

IBM said that Moore’s Law will run out of steam and quantum computing will be one of the inventions that could free computing from a standstill. The company said that if a computer could be built using 50 quantum bits (qubits), it would outperform any combination of today’s Top 500 supercomputers.

The quantum bit circuit is based on a square lattice of four superconducting qubits on a a chip that’s a quater inch spare – that allows both types of quantum errors to be detected simultaneously.

Arvind Krishna, who runs IBM Research, said practical quantum systems could solve problems in physics and quantum chemistry that are currently out of reach, allowing scientists to design new materials and drum compounds without costly trial and error experiments.

Quantum computers would also cope with big data.

IBM did not say when we’d see our first quantum computer using its techniques.