IBM scientists say they achieved a major advance in quantum computing that will enable engineers to start creating a full-scale quantum computer.
The development enables scientists to reduce data error rates in elementary computations while maintaining the quantum mechanical properties in quantum bits of data. IBM's Mark Ketchen says the creation of a quantum computer would make possible an exponential leap in processing power over what is possible with conventional central processing units. "We're finally to the point where devices are getting good enough where data checking and error correcting is possible," Ketchen says. "As you cross this threshold, there's a lot of excitement growing."
IBM notes that a working quantum computer is still at least a decade away, but it says advances in reducing error rates and other breakthroughs open the doors to experimentation with new microfabrication techniques. "Things are getting to the point where, while we may not be ready to build a quantum computer, it's time to start thinking what a computer like this would look like and what it would it be able to do," Ketchen says.
Although other scientists are doing similar quantum computing research, Ketchen says only IBM has the resources to fabricate quantum-computing chips.
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