Thursday, April 18, 2024

IBM unveils its new 127-qubit Eagle quantum processor

IBM has reached a new milestone in quantum computing, a new technology that promises to revolutionize the way information is processed, and that is set to revolutionize computing in the future due to its extraordinary computing power. The American multinational technology company has unveiled the ‘Eagle,’ the world’s most powerful quantum processor that boasts 127-quantum bit (qubit).

‘Eagle’ is IBM’s first quantum processor developed and deployed to contain more than 100 operational and connected qubits. To achieve this breakthrough, IBM researchers built on innovations pioneered within its existing quantum processors, such as a qubit arrangement design to reduce errors and architecture to reduce the number of necessary components. The new techniques leveraged within Eagle place control wiring on multiple physical levels within the processor while keeping the qubits on a single layer, which enables a significant increase in qubits.

The increased qubit count will allow users to explore problems at a new level of complexity when undertaking experiments and running applications, such as optimizing machine learning or modeling new molecules and materials for use in areas spanning from the energy industry to the drug discovery process.

IBM claimed that it is the first processor of its kind that cannot be reliably simulated by a classical supercomputer. The company points out that the number of classical bits necessary to represent a state on the 127-qubit processor exceeds the total number of atoms in the more than 7.5 billion people alive today.

At 127 qubits, the Eagle is the most powerful quantum processor in the world, surpassing China’s 113-qubit Jiuzhang 2.0, Google’s 72-qubit Bristlecone, and IBM‘s own 65-qubit Hummingbird processor.

The first 127-qubit Eagle processor is now available as an exploratory system on the IBM Cloud to select members of the IBM Quantum Network. During the IBM Quantum Summit 2021, the company will also present its IBM Quantum System Two, a modular quantum computer designed to work with the future 433-qubit IBM Quantum Osprey and 1,121 qubit Quantum Condor processors that the multinational intends to have ready in 2022 and 2023, respectively.

“The arrival of the ‘Eagle’ processor is a major step towards the day when quantum computers can outperform classical computers for useful applications,” said Dr. Darío Gil, Senior Vice President, IBM, and Director of Research. “Quantum computing has the power to transform nearly every sector and help us tackle the biggest problems of our time. This is why IBM continues to rapidly innovate quantum hardware and software design, building ways for quantum and classical workloads to empower each other, and create a global ecosystem that is imperative to the growth of a quantum industry.”