IBM now has 18 quantum computers, an increase of three this quarter that underscores the company's effort to benefit from a revolutionary type of computing. Dario Gil, head of IBM Research and a champion of its quantum computing effort, disclosed the number at the Big Blue's Think conference Wednesday.
Eighteen quantum computers might not sound like a lot. But given that each one is an unwieldy device chilled within a fraction of a degree above absolute zero and operated by Ph.D. researchers, it's actually a pretty large fleet. In comparison, Google's quantum computers lab near Santa Barbara, California, has only five machines, and Honeywell only has six quantum computers.
Quantum computing is no longer in its infancy, but it's probably only made it to early toddlerhood. The technology today remains exotic and expensive, with largely unproven benefits. But companies like IBM, Google, Microsoft, Intel and Honeywell along with startups like IonQ, Quantum Circuits and Rigetti Computing are racing to bring quantum computing to maturity. Their hope is to cash in on customers' desire to solve classes of computing problems that are impossible for conventional computers.