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The Future of Quantum Computing, According to an IBM Expert

The Spanish Juan Luis Sánchez Toural, ambassador for IBM Q – the quantum computing division of the Blue Giant – is convinced of the potential of this technology, even in diapers.

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The Spanish Juan Luis Sánchez Toural, ambassador for IBM Q – the quantum computing division of the Blue Giant – is convinced of the potential of this technology, even in diapers.

Quantum computing is one of the great promises of the digital arena for the coming years. Thanks to this cutting-edge technology, even in diapers, we are promised a future in which computer systems will be able to achieve yields never seen before in the history of technology. Imagine its implications at the level of scientific calculations, mass data analysis or cybersecurity.

The theory underlying classical computing is more or less simple: these devices can incorporate the different states of photons or electrons (the essential particles that are used instead of chips) to operate by means of overlapping mechanisms (that is, when two cubits -the unit of measurement in this new world has the same state, multiplying its processing capacity) and entanglement (so that two or more cubits are connected to each other).

Among the different companies that are working in this area, there is one that stands out above the others, while it already offers access to its quantum computer commercially, mainly to researchers and academics who want to check the utilities of this technology. That is IBM, a firm that already anticipated many other digital waves and is now emphasizing everything that awaits us with the arrival of the quantum in our lives.

This is how programming, robotics and computational thinking penetrate Spain
This is what the Spaniard Juan Luis Sánchez Toural, ambassador of IBM Q – the quantum computing division of the Blue Giant – believes. “We are talking about a new computing paradigm that will impact all industries, which will allow us to deal with intractable problems, of an exponential nature, but doing so from a polynomial perspective.”

In the opinion of this expert, the challenge is a major one, but the ambition of the industrial fabric to achieve these goals is greater. “We have imposed an exponential growth just like Moore’s Law with classical computing. Keep in mind that right now we have a commercial computer – the IBM Q System One – of a quantum volume of 16, but its capacity is doubled by just adding one more cubit. We are talking about a million states that can be manipulated simultaneously. ”

The path to continue progressing in these areas is not, however, without problems. “There is still no error control, there is a lot of noise. They don’t allow us to do almost nothing practically yet, ”admits Juan Luis Sánchez Toural. “In addition, all operators are working with a technology, which is semiconductor cubits, which is not scalable. There are other alternatives based on photons, ions, etc., but we have not yet found any technology that allows us to scale. ”

Finally, and as the ambassador of IBM Q defends, this is the moment in which we must pass “quantum computing from the laboratory to the business fabric”. For now, the American multinational is already collaborating with a dozen scientific and research hubs around the world in order to explore the limits of this technology. Among them, the Spanish CSIC, which opens “a huge field of opportunities for Spanish science” in quantum computing.

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