IBM releases first-ever 1,000-qubit quantum chip

The company announces its latest huge chip — but will now focus on developing smaller chips with a fresh approach to ‘error correction’.

A new IBM road map on the its quantum research unveiled today sees it reaching useful computations — such as simulating the workings of catalyst molecules — by decade’s end. “It’s always been the dream, and it’s always been a distant dream,” says Dial. “Actually having it come close enough that we can see the path from where we are today for me is enormous.”

One of IBM’s latest quantum processor has improved the reliability of its qubits.Credit: Ryan Lavine for IBM
One of IBM’s latest quantum processor has improved the reliability of its qubits. Credit: Ryan Lavine for IBM

Also Read: Quantum Transformation: Igniting a Revolutionary Change in Computing


IBM’s recent revelation of Condor, the inaugural quantum computer surpassing 1,000 qubits, heralds a groundbreaking chapter in quantum computing. This quantum leap transcends the conventional focus on sheer quantum size, pivoting towards a strategic emphasis on error-resistance to enhance overall performance. Quantum computing, with its commitment to harnessing quantum phenomena such as entanglement and superposition, promises unparalleled computational capabilities.

The Quantum Evolution:

In adherence to IBM’s quantum roadmap, the annual doubling of qubits, escalating from 127 in 2021 to 433 the previous year, culminates in the formidable Condor, boasting an impressive 1,121 qubits. Quantum computers, by leveraging entanglement and superposition, surmount classical computing constraints and enable complex computations.

The Challenge of Quantum States:

The inherent susceptibility of quantum states to errors poses a formidable challenge to the stability of quantum computers. IBM’s strategic recalibration, prioritizing error-resistance over quantum size, reflects a commitment to ensuring the reliability of quantum computations.

Heron: A Leap in Error-Resistance:

The introduction of Heron, a 133-qubit chip with a record-low error rate, three times lower than its predecessor, signifies a significant stride in error-resistant quantum processors. The consequential impact of low error rates on practical quantum computing is substantial, paving the way for more dependable quantum computations.

The Quest for Error Correction:

An exploration of cutting-edge error-correction techniques reveals the demand for over 1,000 physical qubits per logical qubit. The introduction of quantum low-density parity check (qLDPC) emerges as a promising alternative, poised to substantially reduce the number of physical qubits required for error correction.

IBM’s Approach to qLDPC:

IBM’s commitment to constructing chips tailored for qLDPC error-correction is a pivotal move, with a targeted goal of 400 physical qubits per few qLDPC-corrected qubits. Acknowledging the challenges inherent in implementing qLDPC with superconducting qubits, the company provides insights into potential experimental timelines.

Networking qLDPC-Corrected Qubits:

The qLDPC technique’s prerequisite for each qubit to be directly connected to at least six others presents a connectivity challenge. IBM’s proactive strategy involves incorporating an additional layer into quantum chip design to facilitate the required extra connections for the qLDPC scheme.

The Future Roadmap:

IBM unveils a comprehensive quantum research roadmap, envisioning practical computations, such as simulating catalyst molecules, by the decade’s end. A reflective exploration of the journey towards achieving quantum computing milestones underscores the tangible path ahead.


The unveiling of Condor and IBM’s strategic shift towards prioritizing error-resistance signify a pivotal moment in the trajectory of quantum computing. The ambitious roadmap outlined by the company emphasizes its unwavering commitment to surmounting quantum challenges and realizing practical quantum computations in the near future. This marks a significant step forward in the evolution of quantum computing, bringing the dream of tangible quantum milestones within reach.

Also Read: Decoding Quantum Realms: A Comprehensive Guide to Wonderful Computing Future


  1. Bravyi, S. et al. Preprint at arXiv (2023).
  2. Xu, Q. et al. Preprint at arXiv (2023).

Source: Nature

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