IBM's new Q program will include a 50-qubit quantum computer

From InfoWorld: Characters named Q in film and TV have been portrayed as being exceptional. Q in the James Bond movies served up futuristic gadgets, and Q in Star Trek was omnipotent.

A new quantum computing program called Q at IBM will be remarkable in its own right. In a few years, IBM plans to create a quantum computer with more than 50 qubits, which should push conventional computers one step closer to the trash heap.

IBM Q will deliver paid quantum computing consulting and services to users. It’s much like IBM’s Watson, which uses conventional computers, but Q uses quantum computers.

The 50-qubit quantum computer will be 10 times larger than a 5-qubit system already housed by IBM. And the new system will be able to do things that conventional computers can’t do. It will accelerate drug discovery and make scientific discoveries, IBM said.

Quantum computers are radically different than conventional PCs and could ultimately replace today’s PCs and servers. They offer a way to advance computing as today’s classical computer reach their limit, and as making smaller chips becomes challenging.

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