LAKE WALES, Fla. — Fortune 500 companies, academic institutions and national research labs are signing up to use IBM's quantum computers — called IBM Q — hosted in the cloud.
JPMorgan Chase, Daimler AG, Samsung, JSR Corp., Barclays, Hitachi Metals, Honda, Nagase, Keio University, Oak Ridge National Lab, Oxford University and University of Melbourne are the first commercial members of the IBM Q cloud based pay-as-you-go IBM Q Network service.
Already publicly available as the IBM Q Experience, IBM has freely made quantum computing available to more than 60,000 users who have run more than 1.7 million quantum experiments which resulted in more than 35 third-party scholarly publications. IBM’s open source quantum software and developer tools are also made freely available to users.
IBM’s 20-to-50 qubit universal quantum computers in the cloud have leapfrogged the others in performance, ease-of-programming and now in clients signed up to use them.
Credit: Connie Zhou/IBM
Five IBM Q Network hubs, which serve quantum computer users worldwide via IBM Q Systems, will be located at IBM Research in the United States (already in operation), Keio University in Japan, Oak Ridge National Lab (already in operation) in the United States, Oxford University in the United Kingdom and the University of Melbourne in Australia.
The IBM Q Network today sports a 20-qubit universal quantum computer — the IBM Q system — which it plans to upgrade to a 50-qubit system, in prototype today, that will be able to solve non-deterministic polynomial-time hard problems that are impossible to solve on even the fastest supercomputers today.
An IBM quantum scientist walks across the IBM Q computation center at the Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York.
Credit: Connie Zhou/IBM
Problems that foil supercomputers today are the big attraction for the wide variety of companies signing up for the IBM Q Network service. For instance, JPMorgan Chase plans to solve difficult financial industry problems such as trading strategies, portfolio optimization, asset pricing and risk analysis. Daimler AG will solve difficult automotive and transportation problems, including new material inventions, using quantum chemistry, manufacturing process optimization, vehicle routing for fleets, autonomous/self-driving car control, quantum-level machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI). Samsung is already working with IBM Q to identify the most important use-cases for using quantum computers in semiconductors and electronics. Likewise, Barclays, Hitachi Metals, Honda and Nagase will investigate potential use cases for their respective industries of finance, materials, automotive and chemistry.
IBM Q Consulting services are also offering consultants, scientists and industry experts to help IBM Q Network get a leg up on how quantum computing can be useful in their industries. IBM is also building an ecosystem which has already registered more than 1,500 universities, 300 high schools and 300 private institutions worldwide to include quantum computing in their educational curriculums.
IBM's control panel for the cryostat used to cool the IBM Q system's quantum chip down to 15 milliKevin.
— R. Colin Johnson, Advanced Technology Editor, EE Times