Jerry Chow, IBM’s Manager of Experimental Quantum Computing Group said that IBM’s effort gives access to a much broader and larger space of computations.
“It’s a web-based platform for public to access to run quantum algorithm and quantum circuits on a real quantum processor in our labs. We want people to programme their own algorithms and learn what it means to do quantum computing.”
IBM’s cloud-based quantum computer will have just 5 Qbits and one quantum processor rather than an array. IBM plans to add qubits and even change processor configurations over time, but it will not be superfast.
According to Chow, IBM’s custom-built quantum processor is a silicon wafer etched with super-conducting metal which has to be super-cooled to 0.015 degrees above absolute zero.
Chow’s team has set up a queuing system and even a sort of virtual currency, called Q-Coins. Everyone who registers gets coins and can earn more by completing tutorials. The coins are used to run the tests against the Quantum silicon and get replenished when the experiment is done.
The IBM Quantum Computing Cloud interface includes tabs for a underguide and a place to keep track of your results.
Access to the real quantum computer will also reveal errors or “noise in the system,” which can help programmers refine their quantum algorithms. The environment will also include a simulator that will let you compare your results to those from the hardware or simply practice running error-free quantum algorithms.
Aspiring quantum computer scientists can access IBM’s Quantum computer here.