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Winner: A Fountain of Knowledge

2004 will be the year of the analysis engine

11 min read

The great strength of computers is that they can reliably manipulate vast amounts of data very quickly. Their great weakness is that they don't have a clue as to what any of that data actually means.

Computer scientists have been laboring for decades to eliminate that weakness, with some limited successes in some limited domains. Now, IBM Corp. appears to have made a major breakthrough in the field of machine understanding. The results could spell big business not just for IBM but for data miners, content providers, retailers, political consultants, market analysts, and any other group that relies on information as part of its stock in trade.

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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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