Behind IBM’s Quantum Computing Solution

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2016-05-11

IBM Research is making quantum computing available to members of the public who can access and run experiments on the company's quantum processor. This endeavor has been about 35 years in the making, with perhaps another decade or more to go before IBM can deliver a universal quantum computer. According to IBM, quantum computing uses quantum physics, also called quantum mechanics, to perform new operations on data or operations outside the standard models of computation. “The power of the quantum computer is that it is based on a logic that is not limited merely to on-or-off, true-or-false scenarios,” reads a description of the technology on the IBM Research quantum computing site. “Quantum computing has bits, just like any computer. But instead of ones and zeros, quantum bits (or qubits) can represent a one, a zero or both at once—a phenomenon known as superposition. The superposition that occurs in a quantum system is so different from that which occurs in classical systems that it can allow two of these qubits to behave in ways that cannot be explained by the individual components.” This eWEEK slide show examines key features of IBM's quantum computing technology.


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