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The Big Picture

1 min read

What if you could surf while you surf? Well, nobody really wants to do that, but apparently consumer reality and marketing promotions need not have anything in common. Intel Corp.'s marketing team commissioned a surfboard with an integrated tablet laptop and a solar charger, to show off the company's Centrino wireless technology, which gives the surfboard an Internet connection via a wireless hot spot on the beach. It was developed for a sports festival in 2004 but is still in use a year later, as demonstrated here by Neco Padaratz, at Joaquina Beach, in Florianópolis, Brazil. Frivolous as the idea is, there was a bit of engineering involved in the board's construction, according to Jools Matthew of Gulfstream Surfboards, in North Devon, England. The challenge, he says, was to make the laptop watertight and to ensure that its weight didn't alter the board's balance.

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An IBM Quantum Computer Will Soon Pass the 1,000-Qubit Mark

The Condor processor is just one quantum-computing advance slated for 2023

4 min read
This photo shows a woman working on a piece of apparatus that is suspended from the ceiling of the laboratory.

A researcher at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center examines some of the quantum hardware being constructed there.

Connie Zhou/IBM

IBM’s Condor, the world’s first universal quantum computer with more than 1,000 qubits, is set to debut in 2023. The year is also expected to see IBM launch Heron, the first of a new flock of modular quantum processors that the company says may help it produce quantum computers with more than 4,000 qubits by 2025.

This article is part of our special report Top Tech 2023.

While quantum computers can, in theory, quickly find answers to problems that classical computers would take eons to solve, today’s quantum hardware is still short on qubits, limiting its usefulness. Entanglement and other quantum states necessary for quantum computation are infamously fragile, being susceptible to heat and other disturbances, which makes scaling up the number of qubits a huge technical challenge.

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