In a press release issued by the company, IBM stated, "In 2018, IBM employee inventors received a record number of 9,100 patents, marking the company's 26th consecutive year of the US patent leadership".
Speaking at her keynote this morning, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty revealed the company's next step along its IBM Q quantum computing development process, an entirely new system that it hopes can greatly increase the reach and use of the technology.
At this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, IBM took the wraps off the Q System One, which it claims is the world's first integrated universal quantum computing system for commercial applications.
The Q System One communicates with the outside world through classical computing equipment that runs alongside the qubits.
The hardware is contained in a specially designed 9x9 foot glass case built by Goppion, a world-renowned maker of museum glass display cases that is best known for protecting the Mona Lisa in the Louvre.
Additionally, IBM secured more than 2,000 cloud computing-related patents, as well as more than 1,400 cybersecurity patents. The new computers are based on the laws of quantum mechanics and rely on qubits. The 20-Quibit system by IBM, which is seen as one of the leaders in the field of quantum computing, could one day solve complex problems.
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The IBM Q Network is the world's first community of Fortune 500 companies, startups, academic institutions and research labs working with IBM to advance quantum computing and explore practical applications for business and science.
IBM has presented a commercial 17-qubit processor prototype back in 2017, which was what paved the way to the Q System One we have on our hands as of today. Usually, quantum computers are carefully preserved in research labs, where various elements such as reinforced chambers, tanks of liquid helium, cryogenic equipment and hundreds of yards of cabling, the Financial Times reported. The company also earned patents for blockchain technology as well as for quantum computing uses. This includes a 9-foot-tall and 9-foot-wide case of half-inch thick glass to create a sealed and airtight enclosure.
"Protection from this interference is one of many reasons why quantum computers and their components require careful engineering and isolation".
Quantum bits or qubits - the units used to perform quantum computations - "quickly lose their special quantum properties, typically within 100 microseconds (for state-of-the-art superconducting qubits), due in part to the interconnected machinery's ambient noise of vibrations, temperature fluctuations, and electromagnetic waves", IBM explained.
Quantum computing is considered one of the most promising early-stage technologies out there today. Bob Sutor, the VP of IBM Q Strategy and Ecosystem.