IBM unveils its first commercial quantum computer


IBM Q System One

At CES, IBM today announced its first commercial quantum computer for use outside of the lab. The 20-qubit system combines into a single package the quantum and classical computing parts it takes to use a machine like this for research and business applications. That package, the IBM Q system, is still huge, of course, but it includes everything a company would need to get started with its quantum computing experiments, including all the machinery necessary to cool the quantum computing hardware. While IBM describes it as the first fully integrated universal quantum computing system designed for scientific and commercial use, it’s worth stressing that a 20-qubit machine is nowhere near powerful enough for most of the commercial applications that people envision for a quantum computer with more qubits — and qubits that are useful for more than 100 microseconds. It’s no surprise then, that IBM stresses that this is a first attempt and that the systems are “designed to one day tackle problems that are currently seen as too complex and exponential in nature for classical systems to handle.” Right now, we’re not quite there yet, but the company also notes that these systems are upgradable (and easy to maintain).

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‘Human brain’ supercomputer with 1 million processors switched on for first time


The world’s largest neuromorphic supercomputer designed and built to work in the same way a human brain does has been fitted with its landmark one-millionth processor core and is being switched on for the first time.

The newly formed million-processor-core Spiking Neural Network Architecture (SpiNNaker) machine is capable of completing more than 200 million million actions per second, with each of its chips having 100 million moving parts.

To reach this point, it has taken £15million in funding, 20 years in conception and over 10 years in construction, with the initial build starting way back in 2006. The project was initially funded by the EPSRC and is now supported by the European Human Brain Project. It is being switched on for the first time on Friday, 2 November.

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Move over, China: U.S. is again home to the world’s speediest supercomputer


Summit, the world’s fastest supercomputer, is made up of rows of black refrigerator-size units that weigh a total of 340 tons.

The United States just won bragging rights in the race to build the world’s speediest supercomputer.

For five years, China had the world’s fastest computer, a symbolic achievement for a country trying to show that it is a tech powerhouse. But the United States retook the lead thanks to a machine, called Summit, built for the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.

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World’s top 10 fastest supercomputers of 2013 (Infographic)

Titan is a supercomputer built by Cray at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for use in a variety of science projects.

When we buy a new computer we think at some point that it must be a supercomputer, at least when you compare it to the computer you had prior to the new one. it seems our computers are getting slower, but that is not really the case. What happens is that the software we use on it gets more powerful, which makes the computer struggle more. That’s when we all wish we had access to one of the many supercomputers currently being constructed throughout the world.



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U.S. will be pushed toward exascale with the fear of thinking war machines

An exascale computer operates at 1,000 petaflop.

This week’s discussion at a congressional forum was on China retaking the global supercomputing crown on cognitive computing, Computerworld reports. Unlike China and Europe, the U.S. has yet to adopt and fund an exascale development program.



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