Researchers at IBM have announced that they are allowing access to a fully functioning quantum computer to anyone who wants to use it.
“Most of today’s quantum computing research in academia and industry is focused on building a universal quantum computer. The major challenges include creating qubits of high quality and packaging them together in a scalable way, so they can perform complex calculations in a controllable way.”
That said, requests to use the quantum processor to check emails will probably be denied.
Instead, the cloud based quantum computing platform, named the “IBM Quantum Experience,” is hoping to attract the type of user who is most likely to have practical applications that will make the most of the quantum computing system.
IBM only has one quantum processor available for the public to play with. And by public, what they really mean, is scientists. IBM also expect demand for access to their quantum processor to outstrip supply, so in anticipation, IBM have designed a scheduling system — that way, tests run sequentially. After a job is performed, the service will send out the results of the experiment in an email.
Quantum computing processors work on a fundamentally different level from normal computer processors. Traditional computers make use of bits to process information, where each bit represents either a one or a zero.
Quantum computing however uses quantum bits -qubits – to process data. The major difference is that a qubit can represent a one, a zero, or both at once, in a technique commonly known as superposition. In basic terms, using qubits allows quantum computers to perform certain calculations at an almost exponentially faster pace than with normal everyday computers.
While Google and NASA showed off their own jointly designed and built Quantum super computer back in December 2015, the IBM Quantum Experience, is the first quantum computer that anyone theoretically can have access to.