IBM Unlocks Quantum Utility With its 127-Qubit

A team of IBM researchers in association with UC Berkeley and Purdue University have managed to extract useful quantum computing out of one of today’s NISQ (Noisy Intermediate Scale Quantum) computers. The team used one of IBM’s latest Quantum Processing Units (QPU), Eagle, to perform calculations that were expected to fail in the midst of qubit noise. However, using a clever feedback mechanism between IBM’s 127-qubit Eagle QPU and supercomputers with UC Berkeley and Purdue University, IBM managed to prove it could derive useful results from a noisy QPU. The door to quantum utility is open – and we’re much earlier than expected.

Our NISQ-era quantum computers are roped-in to our standard supercomputers – the most powerful machines known to mankind, capable of trillions of operations per second. Powerful as they are, it’s a universal truth that when two subjects are roped together, they only move as fast as the slowest of them allows. And the supercomputer was already stretched thin for this experiment, using advanced techniques to keep up with the simulation’s complexity.

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