IBM is set to announce major advances which it claims will take us a major step closer to actually seeing a working quantum computer.

The prospect of quantum computers has intrigued scientists for years, but despite the potential, actually turning it into a reality has proved troublesome, with quantum decoherence caused by outside factors such as temperature and radiation.

All that could be set to change, with IBM's research arm set to announce how it has broken three records that take us ever closer to quantum computers.

Records

"Using a variety of techniques in the IBM labs, scientists have established three new records for reducing errors in elementary computations and retaining the integrity of quantum mechanical properties in quantum bits (qubits) – the basic units that carry information within quantum computing," explained IBM.

"IBM has chosen to employ superconducting qubits, which use established microfabrication techniques developed for silicon technology, providing the potential to one day scale up to and manufacture thousands or millions of qubits."

Quant-erm

So why do we care? Well, quantum computers could feasibly work on millions of computations at the same time, something that is fairly limited in even the most powerful current computers.

"The quantum computing work we are doing shows it is no longer just a brute force physics experiment. It's time to start creating systems based on this science that will take computing to a new frontier," said IBM scientist Matthias Steffen.

Don't stick your current PC in the rubbish bin just yet though, it will be years not months until we see mass market quantum computing (even if everything goes well) and currently IBM is talking about an 'intimate' link up between current computers and the quantum computer as a workable solution.