IBM says it is building its first quantum research centre in Europe, with its Q System One infrastructure coming to Germany as part of a collaboration with research agency fraunhofer-gesellschaft.
The Q System One, created as a research project by IBM, was launched last January. The company has started to push the system out to commercial markets as its computational power increases.
Currently the system is capable of maintaining the power of a 20-qubit processor.
In classical computer science a bit has two states, 1 or 0, it is always one or the other, never both. However, subatomic particles can exist in more than one state, a phenomenon often referred to as quantum entanglement.
Quantum computing can fit more information into each Qubit due to the extra space opened up by entanglement. This allows for more computational power with the added advantage of using less energy than a traditional computer.
Professor Reimund Neugebauer, President of the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft commented in a release that: “This partnership is a landmark quantum computing initiative and a crucial step forward for German research institutions as well as businesses of all sizes in our country. The installation of an IBM Q System in Europe is unprecedented and opens up the development of quantum computational strategies at the Fraunhofer-Centre under full data sovereignty according to European law.”
IBM Quantum Technology
Last March, IBM doubled the performance of its primary quantum computer.
The power increase was measured by Quantum Volume; a full-system metric that accounts for gate and measurement errors as well as device cross talk and connectivity, and circuit software compiler efficiency.
The results mean performance has doubled every year since 2017.
Quantum volume was measured on the recently unveiled IBM Q System One, which has a fourth-generation 20-qubit processor. The team produced a Quantum Volume of 16. That’s double that of the current IBM Q Network devices (also 20-qubit), which have a Quantum Volume of eight. IBM Q has now been able to double Quantum Volume annually since 2017.
The German government has committed £579 million over the next two years towards the development of quantum technologies. While in the UK the government has committed £235 million in funding towards the establishment of a National Quantum Computing Centre as part of its Autumn budget.
Martin Jetter, Senior Vice President and Chairman IBM Europe commented: “This effort is poised to be a major catalyst for Europe’s innovation landscape and research capabilities around quantum computing.
“This collaboration, as part of the IBM Q Network, will bring together European experts in a broad, active community of research partners to prepare the region for upcoming opportunities in the digital economy. Through this joint effort with Fraunhofer, we are ensuring the region is at the frontline of building the future”