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Preparing the world for quantum computing for the enterprise.

This week, Paris-based Atos introduced “Q-score”, the first universal quantum metrics applicable to all programmable quantum processors, according to the company.

Over the past five years, Atos has become a pioneer in quantum applications through its participation in industrial and academic partnerships and funded projects,. The company collaborates with industry to develop use-cases in which quantum computing can play a role in accelerating.

Atos’ new Q-score benchmark measures a quantum system’s effectiveness at handling real-life problems. It does this instead of simply measuring a system’s theoretical performance. Specifically, Q-score looks at problems which traditional computers cannot solve.

What does Q-score measure?

The number of quantum units, or “qubits”, is the most common metric for assessing the performance of a quantum system. However, qubits are volatile units and can vary in quality from one quantum technology to another. For example, such things as speed, stability and connectivity can vary wildly across technologies such as supraconducting, trapped ions, silicon and photonics. These quality variables make qubits an imperfect benchmark tool.

By focusing on the ability to solve well-known combinatorial optimization problems, Atos Q-score will provide research centers, universities, businesses and technological leaders with explicit, reliable, objective and comparable results when solving real-world optimization problems.

Q-score measures the actual performance of quantum processors when solving an optimization problem. The Q-score reflects the maximum number of variables within such a problem that a quantum technology can optimize (ex: 23 variables = 23 Q-score or Qs).

Seeking to meet an emerging market need

“Faced with the emergence of a myriad of processor technologies and programming approaches, organizations looking to invest in quantum computing need a reliable metrics to help them choose the most efficient path for them,” said Elie Girard, Atos CEO.

“Being hardware-agnostic, Q-score is an objective, simple and fair metrics which they can rely on.”

Atos is planning to organize the publication of a yearly list of the most powerful quantum processors in the world based on Q-score. The first such report is due to be out in 2021 and will include actual self-assessments provided by manufacturers.