Feeds

D-Wave qubits in the era of Quantum Computing

Analog box in disguise?

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

D-Wave showed three examples of Orion in action, marking the first such demonstration of a quantum computer. The most impressive display came during a drug molecule matching exercise, while two less impressive efforts had Orion crunch through a party table seating arrangement that paired like-minded guests and then go on to solve a SudoQ puzzle.

But there's only so much you can do with 16 qubits. So, D-Wave plans to produce a 32 qubit chip by the fourth quarter, a 512 qubit chip in the first quarter of 2008 and then a 1,024 qubit chip in the third quarter of 2008. D-Wave next year will also allow customers to send calculations to the Orion system via the internet and then have calculations returned to the customer and then later in 2008 ship actual systems.

The cost for such boxes will likely be comparable to large, high performance computing clusters.

Of course, these grand plans might fail to occur.

"It could turn out that these systems are not protected (from interference) the way we thought that they are," Rose said. "If so, this system could dead-end after 16 qubits.

"If you combine too many of these devices together and you are not good enough at filtering out the noises, then you will end up with a hunk of a (trashed) computer."

Start-ups rarely admit to such disastrous possibilities, as you all know too well.

Hear a brief clip with D-Wave's CEO

Even worse, D-Wave might not have a quantum computer at all. It might have just produced an odd, analog beast.

Shot of D-Wave's 16 qubit chip

"We have done tests that show there is very compelling evidence that this thing is behaving as a quantum computer," Rose said, when pressed on this issue by a questioner in the audience. "We have have a large amount of supporting evidence that I am not going to release today because it is being submitted for peer review."

So why would a company with so many questions launch its product now?

Well, D-Wave claims it wanted the world to know how far it has come with the quantum technology. It wants people to begin thinking that such machines could be the real deal. Most importantly, D-Wave wants labs, companies, partners and developers to begin playing with Orion.

The company claims that current code can run almost unmodified on the Orion system, and it would love to have some top flight high performance computing geeks put such a claim to the test.

Hear a brief clip with D-Wave's CTO

Have we seen the future?

The D-Wave crew sure made it seem that way. The company is the first start-up that we've run across to eat up more than two hours with its product launch, which was attended by close to 400 people. That said, the management's mix of enthusiasm and frank realism made the pitch all the more believable.

While systems go on sale in 2008, D-Wave clearly has a lot of work to do proving the merits of its technology. The company has taken a brute force approach to the quantum computing problem by focusing on churning out as many qubits as possible in the shortest amount of time. You have to give the team credit for such a risky attack given that rivals are busy refining more sophisticated, but as of yet untouchable systems. ®

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
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
Symantec backs out of Backup Exec: Plans to can appliance in Jan
Will still provide support to existing customers
VMware's tool to harden virtual networks: a spreadsheet
NSX security guide lands in intriguing format
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.