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posted by LaminatorX on Thursday March 06 2014, @05:30AM   Printer-friendly
from the CQluaasnstiucmal-Superposition dept.

AnonTechie points us towards updates on the evaluation of D-Wave's annealing devices.

From Phys.org's reporting on the latest tests:

With cutting-edge technology, sometimes the first step scientists face is just making sure it actually works as intended. The USC Viterbi School of Engineering is home to the USC-Lockheed Martin Quantum Computing Center (QCC), a super-cooled, magnetically shielded facility specially built to house the first commercially available quantum computing processors; devices so advanced that there are only two in use outside the Canadian lab where they were built. The first one went to USC and Lockheed Martin, and the second to NASA and Google. Since USC's facility opened in October 2011, a key task for researchers has been to determine whether D-Wave processors operate as hoped using the special laws of quantum mechanics to offer potentially higher-speed processing, instead of operating in a classical, traditional way.

(Background at Time, for those unfamiliar.)

 
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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by FatPhil on Thursday March 06 2014, @09:49AM

    by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Thursday March 06 2014, @09:49AM (#11853) Homepage
    ``... an elaborate test of all 108 of the chip's functional quantum bits''
    vs.
    ``The first quantum chip housed at the QCC was a 128-qubit D-Wave One, which was replaced about a year ago with the 512-qubit D-Wave Two''

    Also:
    ``"The challenge is that the tests we can perform on the USC-based D-Wave processor can't directly 'prove' that the D-Wave processor is quantum &#226;&#8364;&#8220; we can only disprove candidate classical models one at a time," said QCC Director Prof. Daniel Lidar.''

    So they're unable to measure its Big-Oh for integer factoring, and see whether it matches Shor's? (If they don't know how to construct hard candidates that test the factoring algorithm to the fullest possible extent, then perhaps those professors could ask an amateur like me who can do it with his eyes shut.)
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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 06 2014, @10:14AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 06 2014, @10:14AM (#11858)

    Well, maybe 20 of the 128 quantum bits were defective.

  • (Score: 2, Informative) by m on Thursday March 06 2014, @03:04PM

    by m (1741) on Thursday March 06 2014, @03:04PM (#11971)
    We already know that the D-Wave can't do Shor's algorithm and all the things a "real, full-blown quantum computer" can. The D-Wave is not a general quantum processor; it's a "quantum annealer" (yet to be conclusively proved that it's even that), which might improve over classical computers for a very specific subset of problems, not including super-fast integer factoring. Specifically, annealing means finding almost correct solutions to hard problems --- an "almost the best" Traveling Salesman solution, for example; something which classical algorithms are already reasonably good at, though a quantum system might be able to produce more accurate solutions faster.
    • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Thursday March 06 2014, @08:18PM

      by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Thursday March 06 2014, @08:18PM (#12177) Homepage
      You're right. I had forgotten that they'd already admitted to being quantum quacks.
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