IBM to build quantum computing platform for drug discovery, cloud security

IBM has unveiled plans to build a commercially available universal quantum computing system, to be called the "IBM Q" quantum system.

IBM Q, which will be delivered on the IBM Cloud platform, is meant to investigate problems that are too complex for classical computing systems. One of the initial applications will be chemistry, since even simple molecules have too many quantum states for conventional computing memory and processing power, according to IBM.

"Classical computers are extraordinarily powerful and will continue to advance and underpin everything we do in business and society," said Tom Rosamilia, senior vice president of IBM Systems. "But there are many problems that will never be penetrated by a classical computer. To create knowledge from much greater depths of complexity, we need a quantum computer."

The future applications of IBM's quantum computing system might include drug and materials discovery; supply chain and logistics; financial services; artificial intelligence; and cloud security. In the case of cloud security, for example, quantum computing can use the laws of quantum physics to improve data safety.

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