IBM says quantum chip could beat standard chips in two years

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Nov 15 (Businesshala) – International Business Machines (IBM.N) said on Monday it has developed a new quantum computing chip that its executives believe could be something quantum systems could have within the next two years. In tasks classical computers will begin to outperform.

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IBM said its “Eagle” computing chip has 127 so-called “qubits,” which can represent information in quantum form. Classical computers work using “bits” that must be either 1 or 0, but qubits can be both 1 and 0 simultaneously.

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This fact could one day make quantum computers much faster than their classical counterparts, but qubits are very difficult to manufacture and require huge cryogenic refrigerators to operate correctly. While the latest M1 Max chip from Apple Inc.’s (AAPL.O) has 57 billion transistors — a rough proxy for bits — IBM says its new Eagle chip is the first with more than 100 qubits.

But IBM said the new techniques it learned in making the chip, which is manufactured at its facilities in New York State, will eventually produce greater quantities when combined with other advances in quantum computers’ refrigeration and control systems. The company said Monday it plans to have an “Osprey” chip with 433 qubits and a “Condor” chip with 1,121 qubits in 2022.

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At the time, the company says this is what it called a “quantum advantage,” the point at which quantum computers can beat classical computers.

Dario Gil, a senior vice president at IBM and head of their research division, said that doesn’t mean that quantum computers will overtake traditional all at once. Instead, what IBM envisions is a world where some parts of computing applications run on conventional chips and some parts run on quantum chips, depending on what is best for each task.

“We are confident that we will be able to reach quantum advantage demonstration in the next few years – something that may have practical value. That’s our finding,” Gill said.

Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Aurora Aliso

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