Feeds

'World first' quantum computer set to debut next week

Landmark or footnote?

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

A Canadian start-up says it will demonstrate a working commercial quantum computer in Mountain View next week, years ahead of many experts' predictions.

Venture capital-funded to the tune of $20m, Vancouver-based D-Wave says it has built a quantum computer with 16 qubits - the quantum world's version of a digital bit, but which simultaneously encodes 1 and 0, so can carry more information and solve problems more quickly.

D-Wave's claims have met with some practical and mathematical skepticism from the quantum-computing community, wary of over-hyping the technology. There's a taster of that doubt here at the Quantum Pontiff blog.

With just the 16 qubits, the device, known as Orion, will not have the brawn to perform factoring of the extremely large numbers which underly cryptography. The number-crunching feat has IT security firms and spooks afraid their current encryption technologies will be rendered obselete when a quantum computer with hundreds of qubits arrives.

According to D-Wave CTO Dr Geordie Rose's blog, the firm's roadmap calls for the construction of a 1,000 qubit machine in 2008.

D-Wave will demonstrate two applications for its quantum computer remotely on a machine at its headquarters in British Columbia. The first is a pattern-matching problem derived from molecular databases, while the second will tackle assigning seats to people under constraints, wedding reception style. Its speed at 16 qubits should be roughly similar to standard computers.

All will be revealed at the Computer History Museum on Tuesday. The event will be filmed and posted to D-Wave's website. For now, there are pictures of the circuitry here and here. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft
MS chases app deployment speeds already enjoyed by Linux devs
IBM storage revenues sink: 'We are disappointed,' says CEO
Time to put the storage biz up for sale?
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
'Urika': Cray unveils new 1,500-core big data crunching monster
6TB of DRAM, 38TB of SSD flash and 120TB of disk storage
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
SDI wars: WTF is software defined infrastructure?
This time we play for ALL the marbles
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.