IBM has announced its quantum processor Eagle, with 127 qubits, and has shown the previous designs, in addition to giving some details, of what will be the company’s next quantum system: IBM Quantum System Two. It is the first IBM quantum processor, according to Zdnet, to exceed 100 qubits and as pointed out Bob Sutor, Vice President of Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and Quantum Solutions, IBM, «Eagle marks the point where we are, and that everything continues as planned«.
Eagle, which has not been manufactured in large quantities, has been developed entirely in IBM facilities. This processor uses new techniques, which place the control components at various physical levels. Of course, it has all the qubits in a single layer. Eagle incorporates a 3D packaging architecture, and as Sutor has confirmed, no mainstream computer can fully simulate it.
For the development of their architecture, IBM has had to combine several techniques already used in the development of previous generations of IBM Quantum processors and build on them. They finally came up with an architecture that included advanced 3D packaging techniques.
Eagle is based on a hexagonal design, first seen in the Falcon processor, in which the qubits connect with two or three other neighbors forming hexagons with the qubits at their corners and edges. This type of connectivity reduced the potential failures caused by interactions between neighboring qubits and, therefore, promoting and making the development of functional processors more flexible. Eagle will be available starting this December for certain members of the IBM Quantum network.
But it has not been the only announcement from IBM, which has also given some clues about how it will be your next generation quantum computer: IBM Quantum System Two. It is already designed to be able to work with processors that have more than 1,000 qubits, and it will be more modular than the current Quantum System. It will also be able to integrate and cool several processors in a single system. Not just the IBM Osprey and Condor models, which will appear soon, but those that the company launches in the more distant future.
This computer will incorporate a new generation of scalable qubit electronic controls, with higher density of cryogenic components, as well as wiring. In addition, IBM is working with Bluefors Cryogenics to redesign the cryogenic platform, and improve it with its Kide Crypgenic model, equipped with a hexagonal footprint to optimize space in the refrigerator, which improves the hardware compatibility of the computer with more powerful processors.
Its architecture will allow customers to manipulate and test parts of the system without the rest even noticing that there is ongoing testing on them. If everything goes according to IBM’s scheduled dates, it will be ready to go live in 2023.