IBM launches Eagle: the most powerful quantum processor for the Eagle that contains 127 qubits
The new architecture made it possible to build the most powerful Eagle quantum processor to date. IBM has stuffed 127 qubits into it and believes it has achieved Eagle quantum dominance, although perhaps not the first. And they still don’t have enough. Next year, IBM’s Quantum Eagle should arrive, followed by the Quantum Condor, which will make it difficult for the Eagle to breathe on its back.
IBM rushes through a quantum race. These days, they introduced the new Eagle Quantum Processor, which is currently the most powerful in the world. It contains 127 qubits and represents an important step on the road to commercial quantum computers, whose performance will be subordinated to modern computers.
Quantum computers represent a fascinating practical application of the ghostly realm of quantum physics to date. Classical computers process and store data in the form of bits, which are basic electronic elements that can take the values 0 or 1. Quantum computers contain qubits that can take the values 0 and 1 at the same time due to the phenomenon of superposition. As a result, adding each additional qubit greatly increases the potential computing power of such a device.
With 127 qubits, the Eagle processor is now the number one predator in the quantum computing world. It leaves far behind the 113-qubit Chinese Jiuzhang 2.0 processor, the Google Bristlecone processor and its predecessor from IBM’s home stable, the Hummingbird 65-qubit processor. IBM says the amazing quantum processor was built with a new architecture that allowed more qubits to be placed in the processor. In the Eagle processor, the qubits are arranged in a single layer, which reduces the error rate.
At IBM, they believe that Eagle is their first quantum processor, the computing power of which exceeds the capabilities of classical supercomputers. This is called ‘quantum supremacy’. They estimated that it would be necessary to use as many bits as the number of atoms in all the people on Earth to replicate one of the instances of the Eagle Wizard in the calculations.
Quantum dominance is the holy grail of quantum race participants. IBM is not the first to claim this success. Google captured quantum dominance early in 2019, with its 53-qubit Sycamore quantum processor. At the time, however, IBM protested that Sycamore accounts would be able to handle major supercomputers within days – which would hardly be described as “unachievable”. The best was the first-generation Chinese Jiuzhang processor, which apparently achieved quantum dominance last year (2020), having mastered some calculations in minutes, while supercomputers will take about 2.5 billion years.
The Eagle processor is already available on IBM Cloud for some members of the IBM Quantum Network. IBM has also revealed its quantitative plans for the foreseeable future. Next year (2022) they plan to release a Quantum Osprey processor, that is, the Quantum Eagle, with 433 qubits. The next year, 2023, should be a quantum condor, with a respectable 1,121 qubits.
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