Three years after launching the world’s first publicly available quantum computer over the cloud, IBM is introducing a number of significant enhancements to the IBM Q Experience quantum cloud services and software platform. The public beta of an entirely new experience lets current and new users make circuits and application-building tools. These services further accelerate the movement of research and development on IBM Q systems toward practical applications.
Since launching on May 4, 2016, users have run more than 10 million quantum experiments on IBM Q Experience, and there have been more than 180,000 Qiskit downloads. Members of the quantum community have already published 190 third-party papers exploring new computing algorithms in chemistry, machine learning, and more, as well as approaches to fundamental science. IBM had always wanted to offer a quantum computer via the cloud to the public, to provide an accessible platform for investigating how to compute using the full power of nature. IBM Q Experience was the first time quantum computing came out of the lab, and they really didn’t know what to expect. However, they thought it was essential to the technology’s maturation that they create a community of scientists and developers and provide them with open-source tools to tap into the power of quantum computing. Their goal was to invite anyone interested to create algorithms and run experiments on IBM’s quantum systems, play with individual quantum bits (qubits), learn about quantum computing through tutorials and simulations, and get inspired by the possibilities of a quantum computer.
IBM offers a new way to do research that sets the stage for how quantum computing will be consumed as it becomes more pervasive. IBM Q Experience has become the place to do productive work, it’s not just a sandbox. They are giving people real tools they can use to develop quantum computing algorithms and applications. Their platform is the most advanced in terms of giving users access to real quantum processors as well as quantum simulators, all through the same platform.
The IBM Q Experience beta offers its community the opportunity to write and execute code to run on real quantum hardware and graphically compose and optimize quantum circuits, the sets of instructions given to a quantum computer. Users can work with circuits to develop algorithms, save and share experiments, and access quantum computing resources from a single browser.
Science and the industry have begun exploring near-term applications where a quantum computer can be used alongside a classical computer to solve specific problems. These quantum computing pioneers will be the first to see the technology’s true potential, and IBM will be there to fully support their efforts. Over the next few years the effects of quantum computing will reach beyond the research lab. The technology will be used extensively by new categories of professionals and developers looking to solve problems considered unsolvable using classical computers.
IBM will continue to expand and improve IBM Q Experience, with updates to Qiskit and additional APIs catering to different users. IBM Q Experience will continue to be a one-stop shop for everything users need in a quantum computing platform.