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The Next Generation Of IBM Quantum Computers

In my previous article on IBM Quantum computers, I wrote about IBM’s plans to improve access to its quantum computers. This article describes the update to IBM’s Quantum computing roadmap revealed by Darío Gil, Senior Vice President, Director of Research at IBM Think in June.

IBM is building accessible, scalable quantum computing by focusing on three pillars:

· Increasing qubit count

· Develop advanced quantum software that eliminates infrastructure complexity and orchestrates quantum programs

· Growing the ecosystem of quantum-ready businesses, organizations, and communities

IBM originally announced its quantum development roadmap to 2020. So far, the company has hit its planned release on the original timeline. In addition to the new quantum system, IBM accelerated execution performance by 120x using Qiskit Runtime, IBM’s containerized quantum computing service and programming model, from previous experiments.

The next step in IBM’s goals to build a hassle-free development experience is the release of Qiskit Runtime in 2022, which will allow developers to build workflows in the cloud, offering greater flexibility. Taking a serverless approach to quantum computing will also provide flexibility in distributing workloads intelligently and efficiently across quantum and classical systems.

To help speed up the work of developers, IBM launched Qiskit Runtime primitives earlier this year. Primitives implemented common quantum hardware queries that used algorithms to simplify quantum programming. In 2023, IBM plans to expand these primitives, as well as the ability to run the next generation of parallelized quantum processors.

Quantum Hardware Scaling

Later this year, IBM is scheduled to deliver the 433-qubit Osprey quantum computer and dynamic circuits. IBM uses the 3D package to place a complex tangle of microwave circuit components and wiring at multiple physical levels near quantum processors, enabling faster implementation of dynamic quantum circuits. IBM’s experience in packaging qubits will then enable the construction of the 1121-qubit Condor computer, with little impact on individual qubit performance, by 2023. IBM expects the Condor to be the first quantum computer with more than 1,000 qubits. . After Condor, IBM will use chip-to-chip couplers to create larger quantum systems.

“Our new quantum roadmap shows how we aim to achieve the scale, quality, and speed of computing needed to unlock the promise of quantum technology,” said Jay Gambetta, VP of Quantum Computing and IBM Fellow. “By combining modular quantum processors with classical infrastructure, orchestrated by Qiskit Runtime, we have built a platform that will allow users to quickly perform quantum calculations in their workflows and to solve the important challenges of our time. “

To build this new quantum roadmap, IBM targeted three scalability “regimes” or measures to measure its quantum processors.

The first step requires capabilities to build “classical” communication and coordinate operations in a non -quantum way across multiple processors. This move opens the door to a wider set of techniques such as improved error reduction techniques and intelligent workload orchestration, combining the classical computational capabilities of quantum processors.

The next step is to build short, chip-level couplers between quantum chips. Using these couplers, multiple chips can be connected to effectively form a larger processor. This multichip modularity is the key to scaling.

Finally, the third step to achieving greater scalability is to develop quantum communication links between quantum processors. These quantum communication links connect clusters of quantum processors to the larger quantum system.

IBM plans to use all three of these scalability techniques by 2025 to build a 4,000+ qubit processor based on multiple clusters of modularly scaled processors.

The future quantum computing system will be called IBM Quantum System Two. The central method of building IBM Quantum System Two is modularity, which is needed to increase the size of IBM quantum chips in the future.

System Two introduces a new generation of scalable qubit control electronics with higher density cryogenic components and cabling. The platform brings the possibility of providing a larger shared cryogenic workspace, opening the door to the potential linking of quantum processors through novel interconnects. System Two is a major step towards a true quantum data center. A prototype of this system is targeted to be available and available by 2023.

While building systems with multiple qubits are essential for expanding quantum computing capabilities, the quality of these qubits is also important in building practical quantum computers. Qubit quality refers to the length of time the qubits are involved and the error rate in the results. IBM has a metric for qubits called Quantum Volume (QV). IBM says its quantum system has moved from QV of 256 last year, to QV of 1024 this year. The Falcon r10 system has less than 1 in 1000 error rates today. IBM manages its error management in the Quiskit Runtime.

Advances have been made in error reduction and suppression techniques to improve the ability of quantum software to reduce the impact of application noise on users. These are important steps on the road to quantum systems that will be error-corrected in the future.

Multichip connection

The next step in scaling quantum computers is to create quantum communications links between chips and between cryostats. First, IBM plans to connect three or more Heron 133 qubit chips using classical (non-quantum) logic connections by 2023. With classical interconnects, the quantum state must be resolved into binary logical results. But with the Crossbill quantum computer in 2024, IBM plans to interconnect chips with quantum entangled connections, communicating in the quantum state. The connection between the three chips should give 408 qubits. IBM offers two system scaling options for experiments.

In addition to the potential of using quantum computing to solve complex problems, this technology can also be used to crack data encryption today. While some cryptographers doubt that quantum computing can be reliably used to break cryptography over the next decade, IBM already plans to alleviate the issue by offering quantum-safe cryptography. For example, the recently announced Telum Z16 mainframe has quantum-safe encryption.


IBM continues to use its traditional computing, quantum expertise, packaging technology, extensive software resources, and new business models to expand developer reach and market opportunities for quantum computers. IBM’s super-cold qubits are also fast-1,000 times faster than Ion-trap quantum computers. The company is committed to scaling up quantum computing and adding more capabilities to a multi-year roadmap.

More information about IBM’s Quantum Research can be found at:

IBM ResearchQuantum Computing | IBM Research

Tirias Research tracks and consults for companies across the electronics ecosystem from semiconductors to systems and sensors to the cloud. Members of the Tirias Research team consult for IBM, Nvidia, Qualcomm, and other companies throughout the AI ​​and Quantum ecosystem.

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