20-qubit IBM Q quantum computer could double its predecessor’s processing power

ibm q 20 qubits quantum computing a computer 3
IBM Research
IBM has long been one of the organizations at the forefront of research into quantum computing, especially when it comes to offering commercial access to its hardware. Now the company has announced significant new developments pertaining to its IBM Q program.

When IBM first gave the public access to its quantum computer via the internet in May 2016, its quantum processor comprised only 5 qubits. The company has announced that by the end of 2017, clients will be able to access a 20-qubit processor via its online portal.

Thanks to across-the-board improvements to elements like its connectivity and packaging, this means that the computer will be able to perform quantum computations as much as twice as fast as the 5- and 16-qubit systems that are currently available via the IBM Q platform.

IBM says that these improvements come as the result of three generations of development that have taken place since the IBM Q project got underway. Further enhancements are set to come in 2018, which should allow users to further explore the practical applications for this technology.

The company has already built and measured a prototype 50-qubit processor that is apparently already operational. It’s reportedly capable of similar performance to the systems that have already been rolled out, and will be made available as part of the next generation of IBM Q hardware.

These hardware improvements are accompanied by an expansion of QISKit, IBM’s open source software developer kit that’s intended to facilitate the use of quantum computers. Users can now use the package to create their own programs that can then be run on the company’s quantum hardware, or simulators.

Over the past 18 months, IBM Q has allowed 60,000 uses to run a total of 1.7 million quantum experiments for educational and experimental purposes. While various different entities are pushing the field of quantum computing forward, IBM stands alone in terms of its efforts to make the technology widely accessible to anyone who is interested in using it. Going forward, the possibilities are only going to grow in scope thanks to the improvements being made to the company’s hardware.

Computing

With Q#, Microsoft is throwing programmers the keys to quantum

Quantum computers aren’t yet practical, but Microsoft has already developed a programming language for them. Q# works inside Visual Studio, just like most other languages, and could offer a gateway into the weird world of quantum physics.
Computing

These 30 apps are absolutely essential for Mac lovers

There are literally hundreds of thousands of great software programs compatible with MacOS, but which should you download? Look no further than our list of the best Mac apps you can find for the latest MacOS and how they can help out your…
Cars

How to watch Formula 1 online

There are plenty of Formula 1 races every year, many of which take place in some of the most beautiful cities in the world. Check out our brief guide on how to watch Formula 1 online, if you're looking to keep up on the action.
Product Review

5 generations later, Microsoft's Surface Pro is still the best 2-in-1 out there

At first glance, the 2017 Surface Pro looks like an incremental update to the Surface Pro 4, which was already our favorite detachable tablet. But does the newest version earn its own place at the top of the 2-in-1 heap?
Computing

Apple’s rumored entry-level MacBook may appear in September starting at $1,200

Apple may reveal new products in September including an entry-level 13-inch MacBook based on Intel’s seventh-generation processors. Apple originally intended these units to rely on Intel’s now-delayed 10nm “Cannon Lake” processors.
Mobile

AirDrop makes sending files to Apple devices easy -- here's how

Want to send files or photos to your friends when you're standing directly beside them? Instead of texting or emailing, why not learn how to use AirDrop? Here's everything you need to know about using AirDrop on both iOS and MacOS.
Product Review

Recent production woes make the Eve V a worse buy than it once was

Our Eve V review looks at a crowdsourced detachable tablet that checks some boxes for its backers. Its delay in making it to the market holds it back in some areas, and Eve Technology is an unknown quantity.
Deals

Stay safe on the web and save up to $70 with McAfee Total Protection

If you don't have some sort of protection on your phone, tablet, or computer, you're basically leaving the door open for anyone looking to do some cyber burgling. Protect yourself for a year with McAfee Total Protection for just $30.
Computing

PDF to JPG conversion is quick and easy using these simple methods

Converting file formats can be an absolute pain, but it doesn't have to be. We've put together a comprehensive guide on how to convert a PDF to JPG, no matter which operating system you're running.
Computing

Here's how to convert an MP4 to an MP3 file with online and offline tools

Sometimes you just want the audio without the video. In this guide, we'll show you how to convert an MP4 to an MP3 using web-based software and dedicated programs for both Windows and MacOS.
Computing

Crypto-intrigued? Here's how to buy Bitcoin for the first time

Is it time to purchase your first Bitcoin investment? If you're ready to get involved in the cryptocurrency, we'll walk you through how to pick an exchange, how to choose the right wallet, and how to buy Bitcoin the safe way!
Product Review

Dell's classic 4K P2715Q monitor still holds up today

The Dell P2715Q might not be the most modern of 4K displays, but its IPS panel, extensive connectivity, and easily adjusted stand make it more than competitive with the newest crop of screens.
Computing

Style up your MacBook Air with one of these great cases or sleeves

Whether you’re looking for added protection or a stylish flourish, you’re in the right place for the best MacBook Air cases. We have form-hugging cases, luxurious covers and padded sleeves priced from $7 to $130. Happy shopping!
Computing

Art-inspired face blurring can obscure identity without losing humanity

Researchers have developed an AI-generated anonymity system that “paints” over video frames, using inspiration from masters like Picasso and Van Gogh to reimagine a person’s appearance. The goal is to minimize outer resemblance but…