Don’t expect them to be cheap, in fact it could possibly be as high as $15 million which is about the cost of a non-universal D-Wave quantum computer.

This does mean that Biggish Blue has sped up its its universal quantum computing roadmap somewhat. Last May, IBM said it would like to build a 50-qubit computer "in the next decade” but now it seems we are down to a just a few years.

IBM doesn't have much competition in the quantum computing space and those who are interested are approaching it very differently. IBM wants a true universal quantum computer, which can be used to solve any quantum algorithm. Its rival D-Wave wants to scaling up the qubits and ensuring its system can integrate easily with other computers.

Both systems require the quantum potentially dead or alive cats to be frozen to close-to-absolute-zero (~5mK, -273.145°C). We guess a cold cat will not bugger off or fall asleep and stop the computer working.