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article imageIBM at CES: Quantum breakthrough news

By Tim Sandle     Jan 12, 2020 in Technology
At CES 2020 IBM has announced several new quantum computing milestones. These include an expansion of the IBM Q Network; research into next generation batteries; and, with quantum technology, achieving the highest quantum volume to date.
According to IBM, the 2020s are set to become the decade of commercial quantum computing. The global computing and research firm has announced three pioneering quantum research breakthrough.s.
IBM Q Network expands
The first key announcement from IBM concerns the expansion of the IBM Q Network, which has reached a milestone of nearly 100 organizations working with IBM. Various companies are helping to advance the technology and explore practical applications. The companies involved include Delta Airlines, Anthem, and the Los Alamos National Lab. The grouping forms part of the largest commercial quantum computing program available, comprised of Fortune 500 companies, startups, academic institutions and research labs with access to the world’s largest fleet of quantum computing systems.
In joining the network, Delta becomes the first airline to explore the potential capabilities of quantum computing. The airline is examining how the technology can be used to transform experiences for customers and employees and address challenges across the day of travel. The project will involve accessing technology via the IBM Q Hub, which is located at NC State University.
Developing automotive batteries
With the second piece of news, IBM and Daimler have unveiled initial research into next-generation automotive batteries. This is in recognition that electric vehicles have an Achilles Heel: the capacity and speed-of-charging of their batteries.
Together, the two companies are using a quantum computer to simulate the chemical make-up of lithium-sulfur batteries, which is believed to offer higher energy densities than its predecessor, lithium-ion. The goal is to use a quantum computer to one day help design an entirely new, more powerful and rechargeable battery.
Doubling quantum power
With the third development, IBM has unveiled news that the company has reached a new scientific milestone, announcing its highest quantum volume to date, doubling the performance metric from 16 to 32. Quantum Volume is a measurement that determines how powerful a quantum computer is and will be key to achieving “Quantum Advantage,” -- a point when quantum applications deliver a significant, practical benefit beyond what classical computers alone are capable.
The news items were announced by Dario Gil, Director of IBM Research , who hosted a session at CES 2020, joined by leaders from Daimler AG and ExxonMobil. This fed into a discussion about how quantum computing is set to radically change computing and the world as we know it and why many believe quantum is the next big thing in technology.
Areas where quantum computing is set to drive industry forwards includes the development of new drugs and materials, batteries that are 1000x better, efficient supply chains and new transportation systems, to name a few.
More about quantum computing, Ibm, Computers
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