Algorithmic Warfare: New Computer Makes Quantum Leap in Processing Power
NEW YORK, New York — As the world grapples with how to take advantage of emerging quantum computing technologies, IBM recently debuted its most advanced computer ever — and broke its own world record in the process.
Unveiled at the annual IBM Quantum Summit in New York, the Osprey computer has more than three times the computing power of the previous model. While the advancements in quantum are expected to impact all industries, the technology could have unique implications for how nations defend themselves, researchers said at the recent summit.
Quantum computers utilize basic units known as qubits as opposed to the 1s and 0s used by traditional computers. The computing power stems from the potential for each qubit to be both 1 and 0 simultaneously, rather than being restricted to one or the other.
At 433 qubits, IBM’s Osprey is the world’s largest quantum computer, surpassing the former largest system in the world, IBM’s 127-qubit computer Eagle.
“We’re living in a moment where computing with a capital C, as I like to call it, is going through one of the most exciting moments since the advent of digital computers in the 1940s,” said Dario Gil, senior vice president and director of IBM research.
“It is an undeniable amount of technical progress that is occurring, and the rate of pace is only accelerating,” he said during the summit.
Creating larger quantum computers increases the ability for the computer to solve complex problems. But stringing together more qubits creates more “noise,” a term meaning interference with the state of the bits in the computer that affects the outcome of the calculations run on it.
As the number of bits without error increases, the closer the quantum computer gets to reaching its full potential. In addition to error issues, current quantum computers are prohibitively large and researchers are continuing to work on…