Using a combination of tweaked algorithms, improved control systems and a new quantum service called Qiskit Runtime, IBM researchers have managed to resolve a quantum problem 120 times faster than the previous time they gave it a go.
Back in 2017, Big Blue announced that, equipped with a seven-qubit quantum processor, its researchers had successfully simulated the behavior of a small molecule called lithium hydride (LiH). At the time, the operation took 45 days. Now, four years later, the IBM Quantum team has announced that the same problem was solved in only nine hours.
The simulation was run entirely on the cloud, through IBM's Qiskit platform – an open-source library of tools that lets developers around the world create quantum programs and run them on prototype quantum devices that IBM makes available over the cloud.
The speed-up that was observed was largely made possible thanks to a new quantum service, Qiskit Runtime, which was key to reducing latencies during the simulation.
IBM teased Qiskit Runtime earlier this year as part of the company's software roadmap for quantum computing, and at the time estimated that the new service would lead to a 100-time speed-up in workloads. With a reported 120-time speed-up, therefore, it seems that Big Blue has exceeded its own objectives.
Image Source: IBM