IBM launches quantum computing platform for public on cloud

IBM QuantumIBM has announced its quantum computing platform, Quantum Experience, will be available to the public through its cloud platform, who can access and run experiments on the company’s quantum processor.

The platform, which will be delivered onto any desktop and mobile device, will drive IBM’s efforts to redefine its perception in the industry. The company believe quantum computing is the future of computing and has the potential to solve certain problems that are impossible to solve on today’s supercomputers.

“Quantum computers are very different from today’s computers, not only in what they look like and are made of, but more importantly in what they can do. Quantum computing is becoming a reality and it will extend computation far beyond what is imaginable with today’s computers,” said Arvind Krishna, SVP at IBM Research. “This moment represents the birth of quantum cloud computing.

“By giving hands-on access to IBM’s experimental quantum systems, the IBM Quantum Experience will make it easier for researchers and the scientific community to accelerate innovations in the quantum field, and help discover new applications for this technology.”

IBM believes momentum driven from Moore’s law is ‘running out of steam’, quantum computing will be the next catalyst for innovation in the cloud computing era. The power available through quantum computing has the potential to take technologies such as artificial intelligence to the next level, as well as increasingly the long-term potential of IBM’s Watson.

Quantum computing is by no means a new idea, Richard Feynman proposed to build computers based on the laws of quantum mechanics in 1981, but is only now becoming a reality within the industry. A classical computer makes use of bits to process information, where each bit represents either a one or a zero. In contrast, a qubit can represent a one, a zero, or both at once, which is known as superposition. The outcome could result in a platform which can process calculations dramatically faster than classical computers.

Some corners of the industry could see IBM as one of the organizations who have been left in the pre-cloud era, though this announcement and the work done by the team to progress Watson is seemingly creating a new market for the business. As opposed to simply playing catch-up in the traditional cloud markets, IBM would appear to be looking further afield to redefine the perception of IBM.