IBM Quantum Roadmap Towards Practical Quantum Advantage

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IBM’s journey towards practical quantum advantage encompasses a multifaceted approach aimed at pushing the boundaries of quantum computing to solve complex problems that are beyond the reach of classical computers. This roadmap is not just about increasing qubit counts but also enhancing the entire quantum computing ecosystem, including hardware, software, and integration with classical computing systems.

The heart of IBM’s quantum roadmap is the development and deployment of advanced quantum processors, with significant milestones including the 127-qubit IBM Eagle processor and the introduction of the Qiskit Runtime platform for containerized quantum computing service and programming​​​​.

IBM has announced its ambitious goal to scale quantum computing capabilities further, with processors such as the 433-qubit Osprey and the 1,121-qubit Condor, aimed at exploring and achieving quantum advantage​​​​.

IBM’s strategy revolves around three main pillars: scaling the number of qubits, improving the quality of quantum operations, and increasing the speed at which quantum systems can perform computations.

This includes the development of new technologies such as circuit knitting techniques like entanglement forging, which allow for larger quantum systems to be addressed with the same number of qubits, and Quantum Serverless architecture, which facilitates the flexible combination of quantum and classical resources​​.

To overcome the challenges of scaling, IBM is introducing modular architectures that enable processors to be linked together, overcoming physical limitations and allowing for the creation of large-scale quantum systems. This includes the introduction of multi-chip processors and quantum communication links between processors, aiming for a future 4,000+ qubit system built from clusters of modularly scaled processors​​.

The roadmap also highlights IBM’s focus on creating a quantum-centric supercomputing environment, leveraging both quantum and classical computing resources to explore applications in fields like machine learning, optimization, and the natural sciences by 2025​​. IBM Quantum System Two represents a significant step towards this vision, designed to be modular and flexible, combining multiple processors into a single system with communication links, targeted to be online by the end of 2023​​.

In parallel with hardware advancements, IBM is also enhancing its software ecosystem. The Qiskit Runtime platform and its primitives are being expanded to support more efficient quantum algorithm development and execution, with the goal of integrating Quantum Serverless into IBM’s core software stack to enable a seamless quantum-classical computing interface​​​​.

As IBM progresses along this roadmap, it not only aims to address some of the most challenging computational problems but also to democratize access to quantum computing, making it more accessible to developers, partners, and clients worldwide​​​​.

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