[By Sudarshana Banerjee]

Scientists at IBM Research have achieved major advances in quantum computing device performance, says IBM, that may accelerate the realization of a practical, full-scale quantum computer.

Scientists at the IBM Lab have established three new records for reducing errors in elementary computations and retaining the integrity of quantum mechanical properties in quantum bits or qubits.

Qubits are the basic units that carry information within quantum computing, much like a binary digit or bit. However, while a bit can be either 0 or 1 (representing two states of on or off), a qubit can be 0, 1 or a superpositition of both. The special properties of qubits will allow quantum computers to work on millions of computations at once, while desktop PCs can typically handle minimal simultaneous computations. For example, a single 250-qubit state contains more bits of information than there are atoms in the universe.

Matthias Steffen (Manager, Research Team, IBM Research): The quantum computing work we are doing shows it is no longer just a brute force physics experiment. It’s time to start creating systems based on this science that will take computing to a new frontier.

IBM has chosen to employ superconducting qubits, which use established microfabrication techniques developed for silicon technology, providing the potential to one day scale up to and manufacture thousands or millions of qubits.

[Image Courtesy: IBM Research Lab]