IBM takes next step in quantum roadmap, introduces 127 qubit Eagle processor

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IBM took the next step in its quantum computing roadmap with the introduction of the Eagle quantum computing processor. The processor can generate up to 127 qubits. Big Blue also presented the second version of its quantum computing design, IBM Quantum System Two.

The Eagle is the successor to last year’s Hummingbird processor, which could generate up to 65 qubits. The new processor generates up to 127 qubits. It makes Eagle the first quantum computing processor that orchestrates more than 100 qubits. A noteworthy fact is that this quantum computing processor is the first that can no longer be simulated on a classical supercomputer.

The technology

To achieve a capacity of 127 qubits, Big Blue made a number of improvements to the processor’s architecture. The Eagle is based on the so-called hexagonal quantum chip design introduced with the advent of the Falcon quantum computing processor. This design ensures that qubit errors are reduced more effectively, allowing the qubits to be strung together more easily for performing calculations.

Through the hexagonal design, the qubits generated by the processor are connected to nearby qubits to enable joint computations. As a result, there are fewer connections between other qubits, which helps prevent errors.

Furthermore, the Eagle quantum computing processor features multiplexing. This technology eliminates the need for each qubit to have its own set of electronic components for writing data to the qubit and reading the calculations. With multiplexing, these electronic components, of which fewer are then needed, can write data and read calculations for multiple qubits.

Roadmap

IBM indicates that it is not stopping with the Eagle processor. The organization is currently working on the Osprey quantum computing processor, which should see the light of day next year. This processor can generate more than 400 qubits. After that, in 2023, the Condor processor should arrive with more than a thousand qubits.

Introduction of IBM Quantum System Two

In addition to the Eagle quantum processor, Big Blue also presented the second version of quantum computer design, the IBM Quantum System Two. For now, this quantum computer houses the new Eagle processor, transitioning to the aforementioned Condor processor in 2023. The design should allow for multiple different quantum computing processors to be used side by side.