(Dezeen) British design firms Map Project Office and Universal Design Studio worked with IBM to create the Q System One, the world’s first quantum computer intended for business use. The result is the nine-foot-tall, glass IBM Q System One, a replica of which was recently on display at CES in Las Vegas.
Map and Universal Design Studio explained that the computer represents a milestone in the nascent field of quantum computing. “Historically the components of a quantum computer are dispersed throughout a lab, isolated from one another to avoid unnecessary interference,” said project directors Will Howe of Map and Jason Holley of Universal Design Studio.
“IBM Q System One is designed to fit into a much smaller footprint, allowing it to sit alongside other systems within a dedicated data centre. By making it scalable and practical, IBM System Q will therefore help democratise quantum computing, which is a major step forward in the commercialisation of the technology.”
The IBM Q System One has half-inch-thick borosilicate glass walls forming an airtight enclosure whose inner environment is independent of the room outside. Inside it, the system is divided into a series of structures, distinct but interwoven, including the prominent cylindrical cryostat that hangs in the middle of the case. The form and choice of material of this cryostat — stainless steel — is meant to convey coldness and advanced engineering. Inside, the quantum chip is held at a constant -273 degrees centigrade, a temperature colder than outer space.