Proceedings of the IEEE

Challenges and Opportunities of Near-Term Quantum Computing Systems

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The concept of quantum computing has inspired a whole new generation of scientists, including physicists, engineers, and computer scientists, to fundamentally change the landscape of information technology. With experimental demonstrations stretching back more than two decades, the quantum computing community has achieved a major milestone over the past few years: the ability to build systems that are stretching the limits of what can be classically simulated, and which enable cloud-based research for a wide range of scientists, thus increasing the pool of talent exploring early quantum systems. While such noisy near-term quantum computing systems fall far short of the requirements for fault-tolerant systems, they provide unique test beds for exploring the opportunities for quantum applications. Here, we highlight an IBM-specific perspective of the facets associated with these systems, including quantum software, cloud access, benchmarking quantum systems, error correction and mitigation in such systems, understanding the complexity of quantum circuits, and how early quantum applications can run on near-term quantum computers.