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IBM unveiled the IBM Q System One at CES, The world's first of its kind quantum computing system for scientific and commercial use

These systems were designed by IBM scientists, system engineers and industrial designers, enabling the first time to operate a computer based on quantum processing outside the research labs.


The computing power of quantum systems is immeasurably superior to the capabilities of classical computing systems and is designed to deal with problems that are too complex for today's computers. Applications of such systems may include complex problem solving related to molecular and chemical interactions, development of new drugs, new materials, financial modeling, risk management, or improvement of large systems.

Classic computers are built into a package that combines a large number of components into a single architecture. IBM has implemented a similar approach to quantum computing and IBM Q systems one combines thousands of components working together to offer the most advanced computing device of its kind operating in the cloud environment. It is one of the most sophisticated, modular and compact systems ever built, ensuring stability, reliability and ongoing operation.

IBM has harnessed industrial designers, architects and production specialists, among others, to the Italian company Goppion, the manufacturer of display boxes for museums, whose display boxes protect some of the world's most precious art treasures, including the Mona Lisa and the Crown jewels in London.

The IBM Q System One is built as a 3x3 meter cube, made of 1.5 cm thick glass that creates a sealed enclosure and contains external cooling and control elements, while maintaining separation and isolation between the various components to prevent vibration and interference that disrupts the quantum bit activity.

The unique system is designed to deal with one of the biggest challenges of quantum computing: keeping the quality of quantum bits (qubit) safe from external interference. The quantum bits are remarkably sensitive to environmental conditions and may quickly lose their unique properties. Even the most advanced bits, based on superconductors, usually survive no more than 100 milliseconds, and their decrease in function is partly due to environmental disturbances such as vibration, temperature differences, and electromagnetic waves.

Protection against these interruptions is one of the reasons why quantum computers and their components require rigorous engineering design and high quality isolation, which is usually only available in laboratories. Thus, for example, quantum activity occurs only in extreme cold conditions, so cooling is required to provide continuous working conditions in a particularly low temperature environment and low air pressure.

IBM Q System One is a major step in the commercialization of quantum computing, and this new system is critical for expanding quantum computing beyond the fields of research laboratories.

In addition to CES, IBM revealed that the international giant Exxon Mobil, as well as a host of leading research laboratories such as CERN, the US Argonne National Laboratory, the Fermilab Laboratory and Berkeley National Laboratory, have joined the IBM-Q network and the quantum computing research program.

The IBM Q Network is the world's first scientific community to integrate Fortune 500 companies, startups, academic bodies and research labs working with IBM to promote quantum computing. It provides participating organizations with cloud access to the world's most advanced quantum computing systems, experience and use of processing resources - including quantum software and development tools.

ExxonMobil will use the IBM Q Network to explore ways to deal with complex calculations, simulations and optimization of power supply systems, environmentally friendly quantum chemistry and new materials.

European research laboratories CERN will use quantum systems proposed by Q Network to screen experimental results in the European particle accelerator and to explore new ways of understanding the universe. The Argonne National Laboratory will develop quantum algorithms to help tackle challenges in the field of physics. Fermilab will use quantum computing for machine learning tasks to classify objects viewed in a large cosmological survey. Berkeley Laboratories will use IBM Q for research in the field of quantum computing and the development and simulation of algorithms in the dynamics of different modes of aggregation in complex molecular structures and the examination of theories in the fields of high energy physics.

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