Sunday, October 1

IBM’s plan to win quantum computing passes through Europe: we already know where it will be and what its quantum data center will be like

IBM’s commitment to quantum computers is very solid. Two weeks ago, this American company surprised us with an impressive announcement: it plans to have its first quantum computer ready for 100,000 qubits no later than 2033. It may seem like a decade is a long time in the realm of technology. And yes, it certainly is. However, on the playing field of quantum computing it is a breeze due to the myriad of challenges that this discipline poses.

During the last few years, IBM has forged alliances with public institutions and research centers with the purpose of promoting the development of quantum computing. Precisely at the end of last March, together with the Basque Science Foundation, he planned the installation in San Sebastián of a Quantum Computing Center that will be equipped with a System One quantum computer. This machine incorporates a 127-qubit Eagle processor and will contribute to putting on the map of quantum infrastructures to Spain.

However, one of the most ambitious such facilities on the planet is cooking right now. And it is that IBM has just confirmed that in 2024 it will start operations in Europe of a highly advanced quantum data center that will be available to European quantum computing researchers, companies and institutions. In fact, this company currently only has one center equipped with a similar infrastructure on the entire planet, and it is in New York (United States).


This will be the first IBM quantum data center in Europe

These facilities will be housed on the IBM campus in Ehningen (Germany), and will not incorporate a single quantum computer; They will bring together several quantum systems equipped with processors of more than 100 qubits. This company has not yet detailed which quantum chips it will use in these machines, but it is likely that in a first iteration it will be the 127-qubit Eagle processor that it will install at the San Sebastián Quantum Computing Center. However, although it is only a conjecture, it is likely that other machines equipped with the Osprey quantum processors, which has 433 qubits, or Condor, which will arrive later this year and will have 1,121 qubits, will probably arrive in the future.

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The first IBM quantum data center in Europe will be hosted in Ehningen (Germany)

In any case, what we know for sure is in which research projects these quantum computers will participate. Currently the research centers and companies that work with IBM are exploring strategies that allow the use of quantum infrastructures to develop new materials, innovative drugs, and also to develop new knowledge in the field of high-energy physics, the energy transition, quantum communications, and even financial applications. Sounds good, although some challenges still need to be solved before quantum computers can be used to propose solutions to really significant problems.

Cover image: IBM

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