Thursday, March 9, 2017

IBM to sell quantum computers

Here is the latest IBM hype:
Months after laying the groundwork for offerings in eemerging tech categories such as artificial intelligence and blockchain, IBM sees quantum computers as a big, if nascent, business opportunity. From a report on ArsTechnica:

IBM will build and sell commercial 50-qubit universal quantum computers, dubbed IBM Q, "in the next few years." No word on pricing just yet, but I wouldn't expect much change from $15 million -- the cost of a non-universal D-Wave quantum computer. In other news, IBM has also opened up an API (sample code available on Github) that gives developers easier access to the five-qubit quantum computer currently connected to the IBM cloud. Later in the year, IBM will release a full SDK, further simplifying the process of building quantum software. You can't actually do much useful computation with five qubits, mind you, but fortunately IBM also has news there: the company's quantum simulator can now simulate up to 20 qubits. The idea is that developers should start thinking about potential 20-qubit quantum scenarios now, so they're ready to be deployed when IBM builds the actual hardware.
At least one comment points to Why Quantum Computers Cannot Work.

IBM will never make a dime on this project. You read it here first.


  1. Roger,
    In all honesty, why is IBM doing this? When they sell one of their machines and it does not magically crack encryptions in fractions of the time as ordinary computers or do the 'Douglas Adams improbability drive' stunts everyone is expecting, why would anyone else buy one of their machines, and what would happen when said purchaser made it known they wanted their money back? I can't see this as being good for IBM sales.
    This quantum computer is going to fall pretty short of expectations.

  2. Not just IBM. Google, Microsoft, and others are playing this game. My guess is that researchers have had to make ever more optimistic projections in order to maintain funding. Sometimes companies start to believe their own BS.