Open Source Helps Power the new, Most Powerful IBM Quantum Processors to Date

Julius Kielaitis |

As more and more companies turn towards open source development, new technologies normally reserved for government and military purposes are available for tinkering by the public domain. 

Of the latest, most complex technological fields in development right now, artificial intelligence and quantum computing seem to attract the most wonder. Few regular people understand how these technologies work exactly. That’s not a knock on regular people, either, as these technologies have typically been reserved for government agencies and the upper echelons of Silicon Valley research and development.

You can run your own experiments on IBM's 5, 16, and 17 qubit quantum processors.Click To Tweet

Yet, of late, even companies like Apple, who many would assume would never make their research and development projects public, have reached out to the public domain to see what innovations an open source approach can bring.

Newest IBM Quantum Processors are Their Fastest yet

IBM is another well-known company that is better known for looking to open source development to test its products. You could already run your own experiments on their 5-qubit Quantum Experience platform.

open source
The IBM Q Lab at the T.J. Watson Research Center in New York. | Connie Zhou | IBM

Now that IBM announced the successful build and testing of their most powerful quantum processors yet (16 and 17 qubits of quantum volume respectively), the public domain can request beta access to run their own experiments on these systems through the SDK on GitHub.

Want to try but Don’t Know Where to Start?

Quantum computing is a mystery to many, including the author of this article. That’s okay, though, as IBM has your back.

Check out IBM’s primer for the basics of using IBM quantum processors.

If you’re not even there yet, check out Charles Bennet’s beginner’s guide to quantum computing. If you’re not familiar with Bennet, he is a pioneer in the quantum computing field and one of the scientists most responsible for highlighting the connections between psychics and information.

Where Open Source Will Take us, Quantum Computing

Experts, as well as normal people, can contribute to progress in this field, and are helping refine the technology faster by pooling resources and skills. This is helping get quantum computers to the general market faster.

In the past, innovators and the companies that retain rights to those innovations have struggled to control the design and potential profits of their ideas.

Luckily, however, companies have discovered that they can encourage collaboration and still bring in plenty of profits. What’s more, new technologies with multiple perspectives on the development and testing of those technologies are typically designed faster and with fewer vulnerabilities.

You might even argue that allowing the public domain to become familiar with new technologies will make their debut to the marketplace more familiar and thereby successful.

So, what are you waiting for? Run some quantum experiments on the new IBM quantum processors and let us know how it goes!

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