IBM Quantum: The Osprey is Here
IBM Quantum: The Osprey is Here
It was almost exactly a year ago that IBM unveiled what was then its latest quantum processor, code-named Eagle, boasting an impressive 127 quantum bits (qubits).
Fast forward one year and IBM announced earlier this week (11/9/22) its latest quantum processor, code named Osprey, with 433 qubits, more than three times the number of qubits as their Eagle processor.
This places IBM squarely in the lead for the fastest quantum processor.
This blog goes into details of what quantum computing is, where IBM is headed in quantum computing, and what it means for the industry.
Hit the Road—Map
What’s almost more impressive than this announcement from IBM is that it predicted this spot-on in the Quantum Development Roadmap it published in 2020 (see below).
IBM predicted the Eagle with 127 qubits would be announced in 2021 (check), and that the Osprey with 433 qubits would be announced in 2022 (check).
IBM updated its roadmap concurrently with this week’s announcement, and the only significant change from its 2020 version is providing a little more clarity and precision about their future deliverables as well as information on their plans for the software stack for each year.
The number of qubits remained the same for both roadmap until the 2020 roadmap got fuzzy about futures.
The 2022 roadmap has IBM delivering 1,121 qubits in 2023 and then introducing a new multi-chip architecture in 2024 with 1,386 qubits.
This multi-chip architecture will scale up to 4,158 qubits in 2025, and then deliver over 10k qubits in 2026 and beyond (see below).
IBM also provides a roadmap for its kernel and algorithms, but more interestingly, starts laying out quantum software applications beginning with prototypes in 2023 and then delivering actual applications in 2025.
Given IBM’s track record of delivering on their roadmap promises, the future of quantum computing at IBM is looking quite promising.
Speed vs Accuracy—Addressing Those Pesky Quantum Errors
Finding a way to incorporate error-correction to address noise in quantum computations has historically been a major challenge in the adoption of quantum computing.
Error correction is not novel to quantum computing, however the classic computing industry has dealt with error-correction in mature hardware designs for years.
Quantum computing processors are still in their infancy, so error correction techniques are still evolving.
In IBM’s case, it announced an update to its Qiskit runtime that will allow a user to make API calls into the kernel to trade off speed for reduced error counts.
Though addressed in the kernel layer and not the hardware layer, this option will allow developers to easily select what level of error correction is needed and not have to deal with it directly in their software applications.
This should greatly accelerate the development of quantum applications.
Advances in quantum computing are happening at a break-neck pace and enterprises should make a concerted effort to stay abreast of them.
While still immature, this technology has the potential to completely transform existing markets as well as create completely new ones.
Cloud Computing continues to expand throughout 2022 and is being adopted broadly across the enterprise.
The options available to enterprises on where to run workloads have never been greater, so understanding these options is critical for making the right choices on where to run your unique workloads.
Join Craig Kennedy, on December 13, 2022, where he will discuss the current and future state of Cloud Computing and when it makes sense for the digital enterprise.
This webinar will cover:
- Key trends in Cloud Computing in 2022 and Beyond
- Cloud Pitfalls to Avoid
- Cloud Best Practices to Embrace
This blog is a part of the Digital Operations blog series by Aragon Research’s Sr. Director of Research, Craig Kennedy.
Missed an installment? Catch up here!