IBM Opens Quantum Computer for Commercial Use

IBM Opens Quantum Computer for Commercial Use

Catching up with the Consumer Electronics Show being held in Las Vegas, IBM heralds their very own IBM Q System One, a quantum computer available for retail use accessible only through the technology company’s cloud

IBM made the announcement on 8 January. The Q System One (Q stands for qubits) syndicates 20 qubits into one single system and it is ready for business and research use done straight from IBM’s computing cloud.

Qubits

Qubits are employed in order to render power to compete with, or surpass, the efficiency of advanced supercomputers. Qubits, a rudimentary unit of quantum information, are extremely fragile, even the smallest vibrations or electrical inconstancy can affect its state. Retail operations need reliable performance; this frailty is a deficiency.

To counter the frailty and reduce external disruption, IBM enclosed Q System One in a 0.5-inch borosilicate glass which stands nine feet tall. Metal supports act as a divider separating the cooling chamber, electronics, and its shell.

Is it Powerful Enough?

IBM explains the computer is made for retail and scientific purposes. Though the machine looks high tech and sleek, it lacks the power to run the envisioned commercial applications. With only 20 qubits, it is miles away from the power of quantum computing research prognosticates.

In light of this, the technology company says this is merely the first attempt. And since the system is capable of upgrades, in the future it will undertake dilemmas that are ‘too complex and exponential’ for traditional systems to grasp.

Will Q System One Concern Blockchain?

Blockchain technology, thanks to its decentralized, encrypted, and consensus-driven design, is proved to be hack or tamper resilient. But with the coming of quantum computers available to the public, such as IBM’s, will it pose a threat to a technology deemed unhackable? Will cryptocurrency holders face a new problem that puts their holdings in danger or being stolen?

With the present state of the quantum computer, the reply these two questions is a ‘no’. According to Forbes, only a ‘nation-state actor’ or an enterprise with enough funds, determination, and space can conduct a blockchain break-in.

Bitcoin reached its 10th anniversary. But in spite of existing for a decade, blockchain is still in its early beginnings. It, together with quantum computers, will continue on developing in step with technological progress and market demand.

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