IBM designed quantum computers to solve complex problems that today’s most powerful supercomputers cannot solve, and never will.
For some problems, supercomputers aren’t that super
Until now, we’ve relied on supercomputers to solve most problems. These are very large classical computers, often with thousands of classical CPU and GPU cores. However, supercomputers aren’t very good at solving certain types of problems, which seem easy at first glance. This is why we need quantum computers.
Why quantum computers are faster
For over two decades, IBM has been pioneering the development of quantum computer systems to solve these sorts of problems in fundamentally new ways, making use of these two approaches.
Quantum computers can create vast multidimensional spaces in which to represent these very large problems. Classical supercomputers cannot do this.
Algorithms that employ quantum wave interference are then used to find solutions in this space and translate them back into forms we can use and understand.
How quantum computers work
You don’t have to know how quantum computers work to use them, however, the science is interesting because it represents so many advanced fields coming together.
Given the potential computational power of quantum computers, you might expect them to be gigantic. In fact, they are currently about the size of a domestic fridge, with an accompanying wardrobe-sized box of control electronics.
In the same way that bits are used in a classical computer, at the heart of the quantum computer are quantum bits or qubits (CUE-bits) which can store information in the quantum form.