IBM looks confident in building a highly advanced quantum processor with over 1000 qubits by the time year 2023 completes. The company released a strategy for the achievement of this ambitious goal. Currently, IBM has a quantum processor of 65 qubits.
They have planned to launch a 127 qubit quantum processor in 2021, followed by a 433 qubit machine in 2022. The development of a larger quantum processor will require a very efficient cooling system, and appropriate hardware to interconnect these units to build a structure similar to that of the multi-core architecture in the classic chips.
The current cooling device which IBM uses will not be enough to accommodate the larger quantum processor expected to be built in the future. Hence the company is also looking into the manufacture of a super fridge-like device.
IBM Research director Dario Gil said that the leap in quantum computing will require parallel progress in software, cryogenics and other technologies. “The ultimate goal is to build large-scale, fault-tolerant quantum computers.”
Quantum bits increase the computational speed and processing power to another level. This is because unlike the classical bits which can hold only two states of information a quantum bit can hold multiple states of the same information.
The main challenge of quantum computing is the high percentage of error. IBM is working on a solution that will reduce this percentage of the error to a minimum. This reduction in the percentage of error is only possible by increasing the number of qubits.
Present-day quantum computers have a higher rate of error than classical computers. Axios reports that IBM’s current 65-qubit quantum processor has a rate of error of roughly 1.5%. Dario Gil has emphasized that the most important point of improvement in performance is to bring down the rate of error close to 0.0001%. It seems difficult at the moment, but the progress made by IBM makes the target reasonable.
With that sort of rate of error, quantum computers will be able to perform calculations beyond the limitations of a classical computer. IBM believes that if it succeeds in building the 1121 qubit machine in the year 2023, then it will become a turning point in the field of quantum computing. The entire field will head towards an unprecedented advancement.