ExxonMobil and IBM to Advance Energy Sector Application of Quantum Computing

Judy Cobb
January 11, 2019

Quantum computing rely on a different approach to solving problem, unlike classical computers.

According to a January 8 press release, the system - dubbed the IBM Q System One - takes quantum computing from the confines of the research lab into the real world.

IBM has showcased its IBM Q System One at CES 2019, which it claims is the world's first integrated quantum computing system designed for scientific and commercial use. Namely, that it now has a "quantum computing system" ready for commercial use.

The hardware is contained in a specially designed 9x9 foot glass case built by Goppion, a world-renowned maker of museum glass display cases that is best known for protecting the Mona Lisa in the Louvre. The company has also said that out of all the received patents, more than 3,000 patents are related to work in artificial intelligence, cloud and quantum computing. The announcement Tuesday comes a little more than a year after IBM said it had created a prototype 50 qubit quantum computer, moving it closer to "quantum supremacy". This is a historical step in the field of quantum computing, considering the fact that quantum computers haven't left the confines of a research lab. On that note, IBM has announced the first step where it is planning to open first IBM Q Quantum Computation Center for commercial clients in Poughkeepsie, New York, later this year.

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IBM is enabling universal quantum computers to operate outside the research lab for the first time.

The quantum computing system has also been designed like a single package which is a first, with all the parts needed to keep this machine going. Nevertheless, there is a plan to offer partners to the IBM Q Network programme cloud-based access to its quantum computing operations. They quickly lose their special quantum properties, typically within 100 microseconds (for state-of-the-art superconducting qubits), due in part to electromagnetic environment, vibrations, and temperature fluctuations. For example, future applications for quantum computing may include untangling the complexity of molecular and chemical interactions leading to the discovery of new medicines, or finding and developing new materials for automotive application through quantum chemistry.

Enclosed in a nine-foot-tall, nine-foot-wide glass case that forms an air-tight environment, this sleek computer is IBM's first effort to bring quantum computing to businesses. Additionally, steel and aluminum frames have been utilized to control casing and electronics and decouple cryostat. "Much of the success in our own ingenuity is facilitated by the innovation of others outside our industry, from three-dimensional printing to quantum computing". Bob Sutor, the VP of IBM Q Strategy and Ecosystem. The IBM Q Network includes the recent additions of Argonne National Laboratory, CERN, ExxonMobil, Fermilab, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

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