As much as quantum computers have improved, they are a far cry from taking the reins from traditional computers in some situations, however, perhaps IBM has made them more practical.
The tech giant has found a way to combine its new software execution environment, Qiskit Runtime, with a balance of classical and quantum computing to deliver 100x acceleration of tasks that rely on iterative circuit execution. IBM said calculations that took months now only take hours.
On its own, Qiskit Runtime allows more circuits to run at a much faster rate, and can store quantum programs so that other users can run them. However, it also downloads programs via the traditional hardware located alongside quantum computers.
The move aims to reduce the response time between the user’s computer and the quantum chip, and IBM expects to launch the Qiskit Runtime sometime in 2021.
Its roadmap also contains quantum systems that deal with a wider range of circuits, and thus a wider range of computing challenges, by 2022.
New control and library systems in 2023 will help IBM achieve its goal of operating systems with 1,000 qubits or more, bringing the company closer to full quantum supremacy where the technology can handle any computing task.
The company soon realized it had a long way to go, likening current quantum technology to the oldest computers – that is, it required a lot of manual programming and took a long time to complete what now seems trivial workloads.
Ideally, Qiskit and enhanced devices lead to a day when anyone can use quantum computing, even if it’s on a remote mainframe.
For example, simulation of LiH can take up to 100 days to accurately simulate, but when acceleration of 100 times is achieved, it will be possible to simulate LiH in one day.