IBM is going to offer the new quantum processor to commercial enterprises through the IBM Q initiative.
Quantum Computers are coming, not quite as fast as we’d like, but they’re coming slowly but surely. About a week ago, IBM announced that it has built and tested its most powerful universal quantum computing processors. This includes a 16 qubit and 17 qubit processor, both of which are part of the IBM Q initiative.
The 16 qubit processor is going to be offered to programmers, researchers and developers free of charge. The company is also offering beta access through the IBM Q website and there’s a software development kit available on Github as well. On the other hand, the 17 qubit prototype is a commercial processor and is the most powerful quantum processor IBM has ever created. It will be used on early-access commercial systems on IBM Q, although the company isn’t disclosing what commercial enterprises will be using it.
While IBM’s achievement is still far away from where quantum computing supremacy, it’s a step in the right direction. The company of course wants to beat companies like Google, Microsoft, Intel and others to quantum supremacy, although the task isn’t going to be easy. Google for example, had announced earlier that it’s going to achieve quantum supremacy (creating a 50 qubit processor) by the end of 2017.