At its Quantum Summit 2022, IBM showed off its new Osprey quantum processor in detail and gave an update on its upcoming IBM Quantum System Two hardware. IBM has announced the latest generation of its quantum processor family. Arriving with more than three times the qubit count of the previous generation Eagle processor, Osprey is the first to offer more than 400 qubits, indicating that the company is on track to launch the first 1,000 processor. qubits next year. There is still a long way to go before the arrival of the fabulous 4158 qubit system, scheduled for 2025
IBM announced in early May that it planned to revise its quantum ambitions upwards and revised the 2020 roadmap with an even more ambitious goal: to operate a 4,000-qubit system by 2025. In 1969 , humans overcame unprecedented technological hurdles to make history: we sent two of our own to the moon and brought them back safe and sound. Today’s computers are able to accurately capture the smallest details of our universe, but they fall short, says IBM.
Although IBM’s qubit error rates have been steadily improving, they have not yet reached the point where all 433 qubits of Osprey can be used in a single algorithm without a very high probability of error. For now, IBM insists that Osprey is an indication that the company can stick to its quantum computing roadmap and that the work needed to make it useful is underway.
With its 433 qubits, Osprey has the potential to perform complex quantum computations far beyond the computational capacity of any classical computer, Big Blue claimed, and represents another step towards its previously announced goal of providing a system of 4,158 qubits by 2025.
“The new Osprey processor brings us closer to the time when quantum computers will be used to solve previously unsolvable problems,” said Dr. Daro Gil, IBM’s senior vice president and chief research officer. Like last year’s 127-qubit Eagle, Osprey includes multi-level cabling to provide flexibility in signal routing and device layout, while adding on-board filtering to reduce noise and improve stability. , IBM said.
Additionally, the company seeks to address the problem of noise in quantum processors with new capabilities that allow users to employ error suppression as part of its Qiskit software development kit for quantum systems. This is currently a beta update to the Qiskit Runtime, which allows the user to trade in speed for reduced errors through a simple option in the API, IBM said.
Qiskit also allows users to add error mitigation policies. The various methods available have different cost/accuracy trade-offs. IBM has therefore indicated that these are added via a new option to the Qiskit primitives, called Resilience Level, which allows users to choose the cost/accuracy trade-off that suits their task.
IBM said its Quantum System Two, the first step in its data center-like approach to quantum computers, should be live by the end of 2023. (In fact, a video released by the company indicates that it will unveil its first working system at next year’s Quantum Summit).
According to IBM, Quantum System Two will form a basic element of its vision of the quantum supercomputer. It will scale by using a modular architecture linked by quantum communications to increase its computational capacity, as well as deploying hybrid cloud middleware to integrate quantum and classical workflows.
Jay Gambetta, IBM Fellow and Vice President of IBM Quantum, said the news marks an important moment in the evolution of the global quantum computing industry. As we continue to scale quantum systems and make them easier to use, we will continue to see the adoption and growth of the quantum industry, he predicted.
Meanwhile, Fujitsu said it is working to offer customers a computing workload broker that will use AI to automatically select the most “optimal” resources for an application from a mix of compute-intensive and of quantum computing.
Fujitsu said it developed hybrid quantum/HPC computing technology to solve quantum chemical problems while working on the technology. This technology is intended to serve as a precursor to the workload broker and enable high-speed, high-precision computations by combining HPC and quantum resources.
It is essentially a prototype workload broker, but designed for one workload only: the analysis of material properties for drug discovery and the development of new materials.
It includes three main features: one is a quantum/HPC algorithm discrimination technology, which Fujitsu claims can determine whether quantum or HPC algorithms offer the optimal solution to the problem. The second is an AI model that attempts to estimate in advance the time and cost that will be required to obtain accurate solutions. The third is a system developed to allow customers to make cost calculations and in the best possible time, taking into account the results of the other two.
However, instead of using a real quantum computer, this prototype uses Fujitsu’s quantum simulator technology, announced in March. It runs on a cluster of the company’s PRIMEHPC FX 700 nodes, which are based on an architecture similar to that of the Fugaku supercomputer.
The version used in this case can now simulate a quantum computer with 39 qubits, and operates on 512 nodes instead of 64, Fujitsu said. It also has enhanced task management, systems management, and automated optimization features. The company said it plans to pass a 40-qubit quantum simulator in the spring of 2023.
Fujitsu said its next step with the hybrid quantum/HPC computing technology is to verify its efficiency and develop it further, with the goal of having the workload brokering technology ready for the company’s 2023 fiscal year. which begins in April next year.
Quantum computers show promise for simulations of chemical and physical systems, but the limited capabilities of current quantum processors allow only small, often approximate simulations, IBM explains in the paper. The solution, the company says, is to combine classical and quantum computing power, a process called entanglement forging. If successful, the system can double the size of available quantum computations. Quantum is a nascent technology, but with great potential.
Simply put, quantum computing goes beyond binary processing (where everything is either one or zero) and can enable states between these two poles, making the eventual computer more powerful. IBM customers include Exxon Mobil and Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings. Krishna said he was avoiding making claims that IBM cannot satisfy after what he called the company’s mistake of prematurely planning uses for its Watson artificial intelligence (AI) services.
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