## The future of computing

### IBM has a decades-long role in advancing computing, developing systems that beat the world chess champion (Deep Blue), won on Jeopardy! (Watson) and mapped the human genome (Blue Gene), for example.

### Today, IBM is committing its talented scientists and engineers to build a universal quantum computer that will enable new scientific discoveries and innovations. With an associated ecosystem of quantum software tools and industry partnerships, IBM is driving the study and adoption of quantum computing worldwide.

Key research areas @ IBM

#### Information theory

Exploring a broad array of topics in quantum information theory, including error correction and fault-tolerance for realizing large-scale quantum computation as well as verification and validation of quantum systems.

#### Device engineering

Applying theoretical and experimental expertise to overcoming significant challenges in designing, fabricating, connecting, controlling and holistically improving physical qubits.

#### Computing systems

Rethinking computing hardware through the development of commercially viable quantum systems, which are expected to be a hybrid of quantum and classical computers.

#### Algorithms and coding

Working with the scientific and technical community through the IBM Quantum Experience, open source APIs and partnership to build an entirely new software stack for universal quantum computers.

## A focus on universal quantum systems

IBM Research is focused on the development of universal quantum computers, the most powerful and general class of quantum systems. They are the only systems known to have the potential to perform certain complex calculations that neither today’s multi-petaflop supercomputers nor any other class of quantum computer, including quantum annealers, can emulate.

IBM’s roadmap to scale to practical universal quantum computers is based on a holistic approach to advancing all parts of the system. IBM will leverage its deep expertise in superconducting qubits, complex high performance system integration, and scalable nanofabrication processes from the semiconductor industry to help advance the system capabilities. The software tools and environment will leverage IBM’s world-class mathematicians, computer scientists, and software and system engineers.

## A focus on universal quantum systems

IBM Research is focused on the development of universal quantum computers, the most powerful and general class of quantum systems. They are the only systems known to have the potential to perform certain complex calculations that neither today’s multi-petaflop supercomputers nor any other class of quantum computer, including quantum annealers, can emulate.

IBM’s roadmap to scale to practical universal quantum computers is based on a holistic approach to advancing all parts of the system. IBM will leverage its deep expertise in superconducting qubits, complex high performance system integration, and scalable nanofabrication processes from the semiconductor industry to help advance the system capabilities. The software tools and environment will leverage IBM’s world-class mathematicians, computer scientists, and software and system engineers.

## Featured research

### IBM researchers have authored more than 31 scientific publications related to quantum since 2012 on such topics as quantum information theory, physics, cryptography and more.

Quantum Physics

One of the first and most promising applications for quantum computing will be in the area of chemistry. IBM’s scientists have developed techniques to efficiently explore the simulation of chemistry problems on existing quantum systems. Experimental demonstrations of various molecules are in progress. In the future, the goal will be to scale to even more complex molecules and predict chemical properties with higher precision than is possible with classical computers.

Tapering off qubits to simulate fermionic Hamiltonians Read paper

Error mitigation for short depth quantum circuits Read paper

Featured publications

Complete universal quantum gate set approaching fault-tolerant thresholds with superconducting qubits

Jerry M. Chow, Jay M. Gambetta, A. D. Corcoles

Quantum Cryptography II: How to re-use a one-time pad safely even if P=NP

Charles H. Bennett, Gilles Brassard, Seth Breidbar

Efficient Z-Gates for Quantum Computing

David C. McKay, Christopher J. Wood, Sarah Sheldon, Jerry M. Chow, Jay M. Gambetta

Demonstration of a quantum error detection code using a square lattice of four superconducting qubits

A.D. Córcoles, Easwar Magesan, Srikanth J. Srinivasan, Andrew W. Cross, M. Steffen, Jay M. Gambetta & Jerry M. Chow

## Quantum community

From the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center, IBM offers the world’s first quantum computing platform delivered via the IBM Cloud – the IBM Quantum Experience. Through this one-of-a-kind platform, scientists and amateurs all over the world can explore quantum computing and run problems on IBM's superconducting quantum computing hardware. Some 40,000 users have run over 275,000 experiments on the Quantum Experience, generating 15 third-party research papers on arXiv with five published in leading journals.

## Quantum community

From the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center, IBM offers the world’s first quantum computing platform delivered via the IBM Cloud – the IBM Quantum Experience. Through this one-of-a-kind platform, scientists and amateurs all over the world can explore quantum computing and run problems on IBM's superconducting quantum computing hardware. Some 40,000 users have run over 275,000 experiments on the Quantum Experience, generating 15 third-party research papers on arXiv with five published in leading journals.

## From theory to practice

### Quantum mechanics was a revolutionary advance in physics of the early 20th century, an elegant mathematical theory that accurately explained many strange properties of particles and electromagnetic radiation that had puzzled scientists for decades. It led to great technological advances such as the laser and transistor. Only in the last decade of the 20th century, however, was it possible to engineer quantum effects into practical devices much larger than atoms and use them to create qubits, the building blocks of a quantum computer.

IBM and 80 years of quantum history

### 1935

### The EPR Paradox

Albert Einstein, Boris Podolsky, and Nathan Rosen question the quantum wave function as a complete description of physical reality.

### 1964

### Bell's Inequality

John Bell shows that quantum mechanics leads to observable effects, which are incompatible with any locally realistic theory, such as all of classical physics. Subsequently, these ideas have been confirmed experimentally multiple times by different teams. Notable experiments include: Stuart Freedman and John Clauser’s work in 1972, important improvements by Alain Aspect and collaborators in 1981-82 and, most recently “loophole-free” experiments independently published by three different teams in 2015.

### 1970

### Birth of Quantum Information Theory

Notes taken from discussions between Stephen Wiesner and Charlie Bennett (who at the time was still a graduate student at Harvard) contain what may be the first use of the phrase “quantum information theory” and the first suggestion for using entanglement as a communication resource. The notes also describe the principle of superdense coding, eventually published in 1992 by Wiesner and Bennett. This early version, however, incorrectly states that the receiver can receive either, but not both of the encoded bits. In fact, both can be received by an entangled measurement.

### 1981

### First Conference on the Physics of Computation, co-hosted by MIT and IBM

During this conference, Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman challenges computer scientists to develop a new breed of computers based on quantum physics. Scientists have grappled with the difficulty of attaining such a grand challenge ever since.

### 1982

### Discovery of Topological Quantum Order

Daniel Tsui, Horst Stormer, and Arthur Gossard discover the fractional quantum Hall effect. Their work was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1998. It led to the important insight that at very low temperatures, quantum matter can organize itself into highly entangled states that are macroscopically distinct, but appear indistinguishable for any local observer -- a property known as Topological Quantum Order.

### 1984

### Quantum Cryptography (IBM)

Charlie Bennett and Gilles Brassard propose a cipher based on the fundamental laws of nature (quantum mechanics), rather than the status quo technique of assumed mathematical difficulty.

### 1993

### Quantum Teleportation (IBM)

Charlie Bennett and a group of collaborators show that quantum information can be transmitted between distant places using the principle of entanglement and a classical communication channel. This technique of encoded teleportation has become an important operation contained in many quantum algorithms and quantum error correction protocols.

### 1994

### Shor’s Factoring Algorithm

Peter Shor shows that it's possible to factor a number into its primes efficiently on a quantum computer. This problem is believed to be difficult for conventional computers. Shor's algorithm is the first to demonstrate that quantum computers are fundamentally more powerful than their conventional counterparts. His work launches an explosion of both theoretical and experimental interest in the field.

### 1995

### Quantum Error Correction

In 1995-1996 the beautiful theory of quantum error correction emerges from several groups around the world, including IBM. The theory shows that even though we cannot clone quantum information, we can use a subtle redundancy to protect against environmental noise. The advent of quantum error correction makes the physical realization of quantum computing significantly more tenable.

### 1996

### DiVincenzo Criteria for Building a Quantum Computer (IBM)

David DiVincenzo outlines five minimal requirements necessary for physical implementation of a quantum computer. The so-called DiVincenzo Criteria have influenced many experimental programs working toward building a quantum computer. They are: (1) well-defined extendable qubit array; (2) ability to initialize the state of the qubits to a simple difucial state, such as \000; (3) a "universal" set of quantum gates; (4) long coherence times, much longer than the gate-operation time; (5) single-qubit measurement.

### 1997

### Topological Codes

Topological codes are quantum error-correcting codes that can be embedded into a two-dimensional grid of qubits such that all parity check operators are spatially local. The first topological code, known as the surface code, is proposed by Alexey Kitaev in 1997. The surface code is currently considered the most promising platform for realizing a scalable fault-tolerant quantum computer.

### 2001

### Experimentally Factoring (IBM)

Shor's algorithm is demonstrated for the first time in a real quantum computing experiment, albeit with a very pedestrian problem of 3x5=15. The system used employs qubits in nuclear spins, much like in MRI, on what is known as an NMR-type quantum computer.

### 2004

### Circuit QED Demonstrated

Robert Schoelkopf and collaborators at Yale University invent Circuit QED, where a superconducting qubit is strongly interacted with a single photon in a microwave cavity. This is a groundbreaking result because it shows coherent interaction of an artificial atom with a microwave photon, all on a chip. The work by the Yale team opened up many new possibilities, and the circuit QED coupling scheme has become the standard for coupling and reading out superconducting qubits as systems continue to scale.

### 2007

### Transmon Superconducting Qubit

Robert Schoelkopf and a group of collaborators at Yale University invent the transmon superconducting qubit. It's a type of superconducting qubit designed to have reduced sensitivity to charge noise, which is a major obstacle for long coherence. It has subsequently been adopted by many superconducting quantum groups, including at IBM.

### 2012

### Coherence Time Improvement (IBM)

Several important parameters for quantum information processing with transmon qubits are improved. The coherence time, which is the amount of time that the qubit retain their quantum state, is extended up to 100 microseconds.

### 2015

### [[2,0,2]] Code (IBM)

The IBM team performs an experiment demonstrating the smallest almost quantum code. With a single quantum state stabilized, it's possible to detect both types of quantum errors: bit-flips and phase-flips. The code is realized in a four-qubit lattice arrangement, which serves as a building block for scaling up through the surface code arrangement.

### 2016

### Quantum Computing Made Available on IBM Cloud to Accelerate New Application Development

IBM scientists build a quantum processor that users can access through a first-of-a-kind quantum computing platform delivered via the IBM Cloud onto any desktop or mobile device. The cloud-enabled quantum computing platform, called IBM Quantum Experience, allows users to run algorithms and experiments on IBM’s quantum processor, work with the individual quantum bits (qubits), and explore tutorials and simulations demonstrating what might be possible with quantum computing.

## Quantum U

IBM Research is working with academic institutions such as MIT, the University of Waterloo Institute for Quantum Computing and École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) to leverage the IBM Quantum Experience as an educational tool for students. In Zurich, Switzerland, IBM Research recently hosted student members of the European Physical Society from top scientific institutions for a full day workshop to learn how to experiment with qubits using the IBM Quantum Experience.

## Quantum U

IBM Research is working with academic institutions such as MIT, the University of Waterloo Institute for Quantum Computing and École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) to leverage the IBM Quantum Experience as an educational tool for students. In Zurich, Switzerland, IBM Research recently hosted student members of the European Physical Society from top scientific institutions for a full day workshop to learn how to experiment with qubits using the IBM Quantum Experience.

## Learn more

Continue exploring the possibilities of quantum computing with IBM.

Quantum Volume

As the sophistication of early universal quantum computers grows over the next few years, a key measure of their capability will be the Quantum Volume of the system.”