Repost from @freedom_faction #IBM has published a press release announcing that the company is set to build the first universal quantum computer for science and business. The new division called IBM Q has been set up to make such computers and sell them commercially. Russian scientist, Maria Dubovitskaya, at the #ZurichResearchLaboratory, spoke to Sputnik about this.
Talking about how soon quantum computers will be available commercially and what they would look like, Dubrovitskaya said, “The most precise answer I can provide you with is: within a few years. For the end user, initial #quantumcomputers will be accessed via the cloud. The first applications we see for a universal quantum computer are for drug and materials discovery, financial services and supply chain.” She further explained that the idea behind this is that if, for example, a salesperson needs to meet with 500 clients around the world, as fast as possible and at the lowest cost, there could be trillions of different combinations to plan such a route. However, a quantum computer could do such a calculation very quickly.
Regarding what kind of changes software developers will encounter with the release of the quantum computers, Dubrovitskaya said that the algorithms for quantum computers need to be carefully designed to make use of the features of quantum mechanics in order to distribute speedups over classical algorithms. “The subtlety involved in quantum algorithm design makes it challenging to apply quantum computing to real-world problems in enterprises. This is exactly why we are putting the Quantum Experience in the cloud for developers to use,” the scientist said.
She added that in order to enable medium-sized quantum computers in a few years, it is important to begin shaping the software framework today and that is why understanding the Quantum Experience is vital.
Talking about the functionality of the processor and how much such a computer will cost, Dubrovitskaya said, “The magic number for a universal quantum computer is 50 qubits. At this level we will surpass the functionality of the fastest supercomputers on the market today. At this time we aren’t