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IBM Shows Off The World's Largest Quantum Computer At CES

This year's Consumer Electronics Show, as always, offered up demonstrations of some of the IT industry's most impressive leading-edge technology. But one of the most mind-boggling showcased technologies was IBM's prototype of a working 50-qubit quantum computer.

The prototype was the largest quantum computer in the world thanks to its use of a 50-qubit processor. A qubit (or quantum bit) is the building block of a quantum computer – the equivalent to a bit in a traditional computer.

The promise of the quantum computer is the ability to solve problems that typical computers can't handle by bringing unheard-of power and speed to computing through leveraging the principles of quantum physics.

Alas, the system at CES couldn't actually be demonstrated in operation because the machine must be kept cool to a temperature colder than that found in deep space, as well as free from electrical and mechanical noise – all hard to do in the midst of the CES show floor.

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