IBM to launch new 53-qubit quantum computer at New York headquarters

Computing giant IBM announced Wednesday it will soon launch a novel 53-qubit quantum machine that will be the largest universal quantum computer for external use to date.

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The computer, set to go online in October, will be part of the company’s new Quantum Computation Center in New York State, which, according to a press release, will expand “the world's largest fleet of quantum computing systems for commercial and research activity that exist beyond the confines of experimental lab environments.”

The center will also feature five 20-qubit machines.

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“Our strategy, since we put the very first quantum computer on the cloud in 2016, was to move quantum computing beyond isolated lab experiments … into the hands of tens of thousands of users,” Dario Gil, director of IBM Research, said.

“In order to empower an emerging quantum community of educators, researchers and software developers that share a passion for revolutionizing computing, we have built multiple generations of quantum processor platforms that we integrate into high-availability quantum systems.”

IBM said that the new 53-qubit system will enable it to launch more reliable systems for its cloud service. It will feature a new processor design, compact electronics that lower error rates and “state-of-the-art quantum computational research with 95 percent availability.”

The company’s quantum program also now supports 80 partnerships with commercial clients, academic institutions and research laboratories. The global community of users has run more than 14 million experiments on IBM's quantum computers since 2016 and published more than 200 scientific papers, according to the release.

With the advances in quantum computing, more doors could be opened to new discoveries in medicine, optimization of supply chains and better ways to model financial data.

IBM's stock was up 0.1 percent as of press time.