IBM has unveiled a new cloud computing service it calls IBM Quantum Experience. The service allows researchers to experiment with IBM's 5 qubit quantum computer in the IBM Research lab. The company is also providing a programming interface that works a little bit like writing music.
"This experiment provides the opportunity for a large group of people to start to learn how to program quantum computers, which will help to develop ways to use this new type of technology," said IDC's Earl Joseph. He added, "The large home run will be from a more general purpose and large size quantum computer. I think it will be an evolutionary process, with more applications coming on line every few years."
IBM estimates that quantum computers will have to run between 50 and 100 qubits before they will surpass the capabilities of today's supercomputers.