Big Blue says its researchers have gotten the company to the point where a practical quantum computing system is closer than ever. This is thanks to the qubit, or a superconducting quantum bit.
3D superconducting quantum bit
According to IBM Research, this is a "3D" superconducting qubit device "where a qubit (about 1mm in length) is suspended in the center of the cavity on a small sapphire chip. The cavity is formed by closing the two halves, and measurements are done by passing microwave signals to the connectors." Although the cavity here is about an inch-and-a-half wide, IBM thinks scaling this kind of system to hundreds or even thousands of qubits.
This is a side view of IBM Research's three-dimensional qubit device. A qubit of one millimeter in length is suspended in the middle of the cavity on a small-sized chip made of Sapphire. Measurements are done internally by sending microwave signals through and to the connectors.
This is a picture of a silicon chip housing three qubits. According to IBM, the chip is back-mounted on a PC board and connects to I/O coaxial lines via wire bonds" at a scale of 8mm x 4mm. IBM believes that a bigger assembly of quibits and resonators can be used to help build a scalable architecture.