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IBM Gives Everyone Access To Its Five-Qubit Quantum Computer (fortune.com) 84

An anonymous reader writes: IBM said on Wednesday that it's giving everyone access to one of its quantum computing processors, which can be used to crunch large amounts of data. Anyone can apply through IBM Research's website to test the processor, however, IBM will determine how much access people will have to the processor depending on their technology background -- specifically how knowledgeable they are about quantum technology. With the project being "broadly accessible," IBM hopes more people will be interested in the technology, said Jerry Chow, manager of IBM's experimental quantum computing group. Users can interact with the quantum processor through the Internet, even though the chip is stored at IBM's research center in Yorktown Heights, New York, in a complex refrigeration system that keeps the chip cooled near absolute zero.
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IBM Gives Everyone Access To Its Five-Qubit Quantum Computer

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    They still make hardware?

    • I thought they got out of hardware when deployment stopped involving a fork lift
      • I'm quite certain the refrigeration system for nearing zero K is enough for needing some forklifts...
      • I thought they got out of hardware when deployment stopped involving a fork lift

        There was this thing called the 5150.....

    • Re:IBM (Score:5, Informative)

      by ArchieBunker ( 132337 ) on Wednesday May 04, 2016 @09:54AM (#52044119) Homepage

      Guess you haven't bought a mainframe lately. That market is doing extremely well.

    • Maybe. They are qubits, after all...
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Would someone tell me how this happened? We were the fucking vanguard of computing in this country. The IBM 360 was the mainframe to rent. Then the other guy came out with a three-qubit computer. Were we scared? Hell, no. Because we hit back with a little thing called the IBM 370. That's thirty-two bits and an a DASD storage array. For databases. But you know what happened next? Shut up, I'm telling you what happened—the bastards went to four qubits. Now we're standing around with our cocks in our han

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 04, 2016 @09:10AM (#52043797)

    And IBM will also give no one access to its Five-Qubit Quantum Computer?

  • by Pseudonymous Powers ( 4097097 ) on Wednesday May 04, 2016 @09:12AM (#52043813)
    Five qubits? According to understanding of quantum computing, which I got by reading two seconds of various Wired articles before the paywall kicked in, that means that this amazing machine is capable of storing every value between 0 and 31 simultaneously!
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      On Wired, just use the old right-click -> 'Print' trick. Then read the print preview. Gets around the paywall quite nicely.

    • what does a program look like

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The ones I've seen any detail on behave like a finite state machine, except that the state retains all possible positions from the full range of inputs as modified to that point of the algorithm and a 50% chance of entering an error flow that results in an incorrect answer. Fortunately, the incorrect answer is not consistent, so if the algorithm does have a consistent correct answer it will be the most common answer after multiple executions.

        Once your sequence of parallel finite state analyses gives you a

      • what does a program look like

        Well, I'd show you, but that would change the algorithm.

        You will have to determine it on your own. :-P

    • It depends from who used them before. For example, Chuck Norris' qubits are always set to 1.
    • by sootman ( 158191 )

      File -> Save As -> article.html, then read the local copy. Everything works -- styles, images, etc. -- but you won't get the ad-blocking-blocking overlay.

      Now finish reading TFA and post your full findings here. :D

    • So every time someone gets an answer from this, 31 other universes are created and have the incorrect answers?
  • which are more equal than others
  • Even though (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 04, 2016 @09:13AM (#52043831)

    Users can interact with thing through the Internet, even though the thing is stored at location.

    Wow! What an amazing application of the Internet!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    1) You have to apply
    2) You have to have a solid background in technology..
    3) .. preferably in quantum computing

    Sounds a lot more like "IBM will consider granting access to quantum computing scholars"

    What's with the wildly inaccurate and misleading titles on slashdot lately?

    • What's with the wildly inaccurate and misleading titles on slashdot lately?

      You Must Be New Here.

    • There is nothing wildly inaccurate or misleading in the title. I applied and was approved. Given my background in business and economics, that renders your numbers 2 and 3 completely null and void.
    • That set you off, but "crunch large amounts of data" didn't?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ....'was impressed by the machine and said the quantum processor gave the right answer âoea little more than a third of the timeâ for a certain calculation he tried.'

    So what, we've invented a machine that guesses badly?

    Yay progress or something!

  • W A T S O N (Score:5, Funny)

    by yodleboy ( 982200 ) on Wednesday May 04, 2016 @09:35AM (#52043959)
    WATSON = 5 letters
    IBM quantum computer = 5 qubits


    Coincidence? I think NOT!
  • They're restricting access to those who are already extremely interested, and perhaps invested in quantum computing. How does that promote interest?
    • Look before forming an opinion. I know very little about quantum computing, but am interested in learning more. I was notified just this morning that my application for access submitted only yesterday was approved. State you've read a little about the subject and your reason for requesting access is only for the sake of knowledge and you're in. Based on my minimalist application and its immediate approval, there effectively are no restrictions.
      • I applied this morning, and less than an hour later I was approved. I essentially put in the same information as you did, it seems very easy to get accepted.
  • Access to one quantum processor is great and all, but how many cores does it give me access to?

  • So They Can Learn From (steal) Your Ideas
  • Each time the add a qbit, the power needs of the refrigeration doubles.

    This is why quantum computers can't beat classical computers. The energy expended to maintain a low enough entropy environment to do real work grows exponentially.
     

    • The energy expended to maintain a low enough entropy environment to do real work grows exponentially.

      That is the biggest nonsense on /. since days, if not weeks.

      • The energy expended to maintain a low enough entropy environment to do real work grows exponentially.

        That is the biggest nonsense on /. since days, if not weeks.

        Are you unfamiliar with thermodynamics? A fridge gets to be cold on the inside by increasing entropy more on the outside than it reduces it on the inside. That's the heat coming off the back.

        If you made it colder on the inside you would be sucking more power and emitting more heat on the outside.

        If you want to entangle 10 qbits, it needs to be colder than it would be to entangle 5.

        You can figure the rest from there.

        Go look at the IBM's website showing the inside of the lab. It's a tiny chip and lab full of

        • If you want to entangle 10 qbits, it needs to be colder than it would be to entangle 5.

          No it would not, the temperature is exactly the same.
          And the devices in question are so small that the energy to cool it is neglectible.
          Even if you had a million qbits there would not be a single watt difference.

          • So why are there so few qbits in quantum computers? Why is the refrigeration system so huge?

            If what you said was true they would just throw in an extra 250 qbits and break Diffie Helman.

            • The refrigerator is huge because it cools the equipment down to very low temperatures.
              More qbits are right now nit possible as we can not address them without disturbing the others.

              But I guess in 10 years already we might have quantum computers with a dozen qbits or so.

              Keep in mind the pictures you see are a research lab, and not a finished product, which will be as small as a laptop.

  • Do we need to provide our own cups of really hot fresh tea?
  • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) *
    And I would read the EULA very, very, very carefully.

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