IBM Q – The quiet sound of quantum computing

IBM Q – The quiet sound of quantum computing

The world of computing is not like traditional computing. It’s much quieter. As you reduce the temperature to few fractions of a degree above absolute zero to observe quantum effects observable, you also cut a lot of the vibration. There is still noise from pumps and compressors, but the cold eliminates the vibration and noise in the system itself.

This makes a system ideal for the YouTube craze known as ASMR, where repeated quiet sounds may induce euphoria. Which is possibly why IBM released the video below showing their IBM Q computer.

The system shown is a 20- system. You hear the sounds of the various systems around the white insulating tank that contains the delicate systems that are the actual computer itself. At 15 milliKelvin (0.015K), the atoms of silicon, aluminum, and niobium are almost motionless. You hear the tinkle and woosh of liquid Helium being piped around the open dilution refrigeration unit that chills the computer. These sounds are of a fundamentally different nature to the roar of airflow you hear in a traditional datacentre.

This platform provides the compute resource for IBM’s Network Q. This is a group of researchers from academia, technology, and potential end-user companies. As computing is so different from traditional computing, they are looking at how to define “programs”. Resolving the translation of data from traditional systems to qubits is another challenge. These are commercial systems reachable across the IBM’s network allowing participation from locations across the globe.

John Dixon

John Dixon is the Principal Consultant of thirteen-ten nanometre networks Ltd, based in Wiltshire, United Kingdom. He has a wide range of experience, (including, but not limited to) operating, designing and optimizing systems and networks for customers from global to domestic in scale. He has worked with many international brands to implement both data centres and wide-area networks across a range of industries. He is currently supporting a major SD-WAN vendor on the implementation of an environment supporting a major global fast-food chain.

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