IBM says it will have hit a quantum computing ‘inflection point’ by 2029

Big Blue’s roadmap says it’s on pace to execute 100 million gates over 200 qubits in 2029 before a 10x improvement by 2033.

IBM announced the unveiling of its 1,121-qubit “Condor” quantum computing processor on Dec.

Alongside the new chip, IBM delivered an updated roadmap and a trove of information on the company’s planned endeavors in the quantum computing space.

The Condor quantum processor

The 1,121-qubit processor represents the apex of IBM’s previous roadmap.

In quantum computing terms, qubit count isn’t necessarily a measure of power or capability so much as it is potential.

Currently, IBM considers its experiments with 100-qubit systems to be the status quo, with much of the current work focused on increasing the number of quantum gates processors can function with.

“For the first time,” writes IBM fellow and vice president of quantum computing Jay Gambetta in a recent blog post, “we have hardware and software capable of executing quantum circuits with no known a priori answer at a scale of 100 qubits and 3,000 gates.”

2029: A quantum inflection point

Gates, like qubits, are a potential measure of the usefulness of a quantum system.

The next major “inflection point,” per the blog post, will occur in 2029 when IBM will execute “100 million gates over 200 qubits” with a processor it’s calling “Starling.”

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