"The IBM Q System One is a major step forward in the commercialization of quantum computing", Arvind Krishna, senior vice president of Hybrid Cloud and director of IBM Research said in a statement. Potential real-world applications of quantum computing can be used to revolutionize the fields of medicine, artificial intelligence, financial markets and online security.
The IBM system also has its own Quantum firmware, which will manage the system health and enable system upgrades without downtime for users, claims the company.
The computer itself is in a nine-by-nine glass cube that maintains it at the exactly correct temperature and other conditions it needs to do its work - a kind of fragility that means that you can't just order one and have it sent; customers will access it via the IBM Cloud.
The company also signaled plans to open a quantum computing center in NY later this year, which will house a cloud-based quantum computing system for IBM Q Network clients.
IBM is now looking to make quantum computers commercially available. Namely, that it now has a "quantum computing system" ready for commercial use. The casing is important: Qubits lose their quantum computing properties outside of very specific conditions. But quantum computers are still in the experimental phase. Bob Sutor, the VP of IBM Q Strategy and Ecosystem.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will use IBM Q systems as part of its quantum information science research to develop and simulate a variety of algorithms for studying strong correlation, environmental coupling, and excited state dynamics in molecular complexes and materials; novel error mitigation and circuit optimization techniques; and theories resembling the standard model in high-energy physics.
IBM isn't the only company that's been working on quantum computing, as the technology is still far from ready for mass deployment.
IBM managed to shed all that and build a compact lovely piece-of-art that rests inside a 9-foot tall, 9-foot wide half-inch borosilicate glass case.
While IBM describes it as the first fully integrated universal quantum computing system designed for scientific and commercial use, it's worth stressing that a 20-qubit machine is nowhere near powerful enough for most of the commercial applications that people envision for a quantum computer with more qubits - and qubits that are useful for more than 100 microseconds.
Additionally, IBM also announced the opening of the new IBM Q Quantum Computation Center later in 2019. Qubits in this configuration interact in counterintuitive ways that theoretically make it possible to process data much faster than traditional computers.