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IBM Attains Highest Quantum Volume Milestone: Key Takeaways

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International Business Machines Corporation (IBM - Free Report) recently announced a new quantum computing milestone at the 2019 American Physical Society (“APS”) March Meeting, held at Boston, MA. The company noted that its latest quantum computer, IBM Q System One delivered “highest quantum volume to date.”

Notably, Quantum Volume is a metric, which is calculated per IBM defined procedure. It takes qubits (or quantum bits) count, accuracy, coherence time, connectivity, circuit compiler efficiency, and other factors into consideration.

Per IBM, “the higher the Quantum Volume,” the greater is the ability of the quantum computer to solve more complicated real-world problems.

We note that IBM recently displayed IBM Q System One at CES 2019. The latest quantum computer featuring fourth-generation 20-qubit processor recorded a Quantum Volume of 16, which is almost twice an improvement over IBM Q’s current IBM Q Network devices (20-qubit), having a Quantum Volume of 8.

Moreover, the company noted that IBM Q System One exhibits “some of the lowest error rates”, it has ever measured.

Quantum Computing: Long-term Prospects

IBM is striving to enhance efficiency of its quantum computing systems and services. With quantum computing initiatives, the company attempts to aid enterprises in accelerating difficult financial and technical problems in real-time.

Cognitive systems such as IBM Watson run on classical computers and are capable of finding patterns and insights by deciphering huge amount of data. However, in the absence of any such recognizable patterns, these systems are not of much use.

This is where quantum computers come into play as they are capable of providing solutions to problems where recognizable patterns don’t exist.

Quantum computing has its applications in many fields such as artificial intelligence (AI), financial services, cloud security, drug discovery and supply chain and logistics.

Race to Claim Quantum Supremacy Intensifies

Per BCC Research data, global quantum computing market is projected to witness a CAGR of 37.3% through 2022 to reach approximately $161 million. Further, beyond 2022, the report states that the market will witness at a CAGR of around 53% to reach $1.3 billion in 2027.

Growing worldwide spending with government and academia institution led funding on quantum computing is estimated to be a key catalyst in this regard.

Not surprisingly then, competition in the sector is intensifying, with the presence of major players such as Intel (INTC - Free Report) , Microsoft (MSFT - Free Report) , Alphabet’s (GOOGL - Free Report) Google, among others. The notable tech players are leaving no stone unturned to commercialize and democratize quantum computing into enterprise domain.

Intel recently launched Cryogenic Wafer Prober in collaboration with Bluefors and Afore. Cryogenic Wafer Prober device is aimed at accelerating testing processes of qubits on silicon-based quantum chips.

Notably, Microsoft Quantum Network is growing. As part of company’s Quantum Development Kit, it is working on enhancing its “quantum-friendly” latest programming language Q# or Q-sharp. The tech-giant’s goal is to develop a universal quantum computer with sturdy nanowire-based hardware architecture featuring error-correcting mechanisms.

Further, Google unveiled open-source software toolkit named Cirq in July last year to aid developers in experimenting with quantum computing algorithms. Moreover, in March last year, Google announced Bristlecone, a universal quantum computer with qubit count of 72.

Wrapping Up

The initiatives to realize quantum supremacy goals at hardware, software and integrated levels hold promise. In fact, IBM is of the view that doubling Quantum Volume annually will aid the company to attain “Quantum Advantage in the 2020s”.

Zacks Rank

IBM currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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