IBM’s Quantum Volume attains new high, aims to reach Quantum Advantage

Tech giant IBM has introduced a new scientific milestone, through the announcement of its highest quantum volume till date, at the 2019 American Physical Society March Meeting. Since 2017, IBM has doubled the power of its quantum computers every year. The company made quantum computers publicly available for the first time in May 2016 via the quantum cloud service IBM Q Experience.

Apparently, IBM Q System One quantum computer, recently unveiled by IBM, has a fourth-generation 20-qubit processor. The newly launched device has roughly double the Quantum Volume in comparison with the existing IBM Q 20-qubit IBM Q Network devices.

The performance of IBM Q System One, supposedly, depicts some of the lowest error rates ever measured by the company, apart from producing the highest Quantum Volume to this date.

IBM informed that the average 2-qubit gate error was less than 2 percent, with the company’s best gate allegedly achieving less than 1 percent error rate. Low error rates and long coherence times are required for building a universal, large-scale, fully-functional and fault-tolerant quantum computer.

In 1965, Gordon Moore suggested in ‘Cramming more components onto integrated circuits’ that the number of components for every integrated function would witness an exponential growth for classical computers.

The progress of IBM Q system since 2017 purportedly shows an identical early growth pattern, which supports the premise that Quantum Volume would have to double every year, showing a clear roadmap to achieve Quantum Advantage.

Lead of IBM Q Quantum Performance team, Dr. Sarah Sheldon, mentioned that the IBM Q team is proposing a roadmap for quantum computing, since the team is committed towards reaching the point where quantum computation would deliver real impact on business and science. Sheldon added that the team is pursuing early uses cases for quantum computing and making scientific breakthroughs, and the goal is to continue driving higher quantum volume for demonstrating quantum advantage.