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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: 5, Informative) by dl6125 on Thursday March 06 2014, @11:05AM

    by dl6125 (1802) on Thursday March 06 2014, @11:05AM (#11870)

    The D-Wave device uses qubits based on superconducting Josephson junctions. The physics behind them has been well understood for some time. D-Wave's advances have been more in engineering than fundamental physics. For example, a significant problem they had to solve was how to reliably manufacture large number of these qubits to within the required tolerance.

    There has so far been no rigorous validation that the devices really do give a quantum speedup. This recent preprint [arxiv.org] claims to reproduce the device's behaviour using a classical model. Also, D-Wave's device is only designed to solve a specific optimization problem. It is not capable of universal computation or factoring numbers using Shor's algorithm.

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  • (Score: 1) by acapulco on Thursday March 06 2014, @04:27PM

    by acapulco (1873) on Thursday March 06 2014, @04:27PM (#12031)

    Ah, I see. Being more of an engineering advance sound reasonable. Interesting. Thanks for the insight. I really wasn't aware (no surprise.. I'm no physicist) that the underlying theory was well known.