IBM claimed on Monday to have developed a new quantum computer chip which could beat traditional chips in some tasks in just a matter of years.
The company’s ‘Eagle’ chip contains 127 qubits, and is the first chip to contain more than 100 qubits, according to IBM. The company is planning to develop ‘Osprey’ and ‘Condor’ chips with 433 qubits and 1,121 qubits, respectively, from 2022.
While less powerful in many ways than traditional computer chips, quantum computer chips can handle some tasks that normal computers are currently unable to.
IBM CEO Arvind Krishna told Axios that while some people think of quantum computing as “science fiction,” he now sees it as a feat of engineering.
“This is a first. Something that you cannot simulate on any classical computer,” Krishna said, calling IBM’s quantum chip “more powerful than anything else.”
“Can it solve every problem? No. Can you do the work that this computer can do on any other computer? Absolutely not,” he explained, adding, “it would take a normal computer bigger than this planet” to be able to handle some of the tasks that IBM’s chip can now do.
Krishna, however, stressed that quantum computers were not “trying to replace classical computers at all,” and are merely “trying to solve the problems classical computers cannot solve.”