(Bloomberg) — International Business Machines Corp. is increasing the pressure on Alphabet Inc.’s Google in the battle to commercialize quantum computing technology.
Quantum computers hold the promise of being able to solve difficult problems from fields such as chemistry and material science that are currently beyond the reach of the most powerful conventional supercomputers. They may also one day render some current encryption techniques obsolete.
See also: Google’s ‘Quantum Supremacy’ Moment May Not Mean What You Think
IBM said Friday it has created a prototype 50 qubit quantum computer. A machine this size is believed to be close to the threshold at which it could perform tasks beyond the reach of conventional supercomputers – a major milestone in computer science that researchers in the field refer to as “quantum supremacy.”
See also: IBM Makes Breakthrough in Race to Commercialize Quantum Computers
In a statement, IBM said it “aims to demonstrate capabilities beyond today’s classical systems” with quantum systems this size.
Friday’s announcement puts IBM in a neck-and-neck race with Google, which has said that it plans to show a similarly-sized machine capable of achieving this milestone by the end of the year.
Today’s quantum computers remain too small and too error-prone to outperform conventional supercomputers at most …read more