The February 2023 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

Close bar

"Mother of All Quantum Networks" Unveiled in Vienna

EU-sponsored quantum-cryptography network unparalleled in size and complexity

3 min read

22 October 2008—Vienna has been the backdrop of some major milestones in the new science of quantum cryptography, and on 8 October, the city made its mark again. Scientists there have booted up the world’s largest, most complex quantum-information network, in which transmitted data is encoded as the quantum properties of photons, theoretically making the information impervious to eavesdropping.

Built at a cost of 11.4 million euros, the network spans approximately 200 kilometers, connecting six locations in Vienna and the neighboring town of St. Poelten, and has eight intermediary links that range between 6 and 82 km. The new network demonstrated a first for the technology—interoperability among several different quantum-cryptography schemes. The project, which took about six months longer to complete than planned, was so complex that some wags are calling the Viennese network ”the mother of all quantum networks.”

Keep Reading ↓Show less

This article is for IEEE members only. Join IEEE to access our full archive.

Join the world’s largest professional organization devoted to engineering and applied sciences and get access to all of Spectrum’s articles, podcasts, and special reports. Learn more →

If you're already an IEEE member, please sign in to continue reading.

Membership includes:

  • Get unlimited access to IEEE Spectrum content
  • Follow your favorite topics to create a personalized feed of IEEE Spectrum content
  • Save Spectrum articles to read later
  • Network with other technology professionals
  • Establish a professional profile
  • Create a group to share and collaborate on projects
  • Discover IEEE events and activities
  • Join and participate in discussions

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.

Keep Reading ↓Show less