Friday, February 09, 2007

Quantum Computer History

Not sure how or why I missed this yesterday, but I was really busy. Really. But really, quantum computing is now technology that can be demonstrated? Last I checked, it was still a messy tech on the bench, and thought to be incredibly fragile. Now D-Wave is "ready to make computer history" (but shouldn't that be "computing history"?) with it's Orion system:
The Orion system is a hardware accelerator designed to solve a particular NP-complete problem called the two dimensional Ising model in a magnetic field. It is built around a 16-qubit superconducting adiabatic quantum computer processor. The system is designed to be used in concert with a conventional front end for any application that requires the solution of an NP-complete problem.
Of course, the skepticism level is still high:
"This is somewhat like claims of cold fusion," said Professor Andrew Steane of Oxford University's Centre for Quantum Computing. "I doubt that this computing method is substantially easier to achieve than any other."
But wait a minute, that D-wave blog post says that:
At the demo, what we’re going to do is run two different applications, live, on an Orion system residing in Burnaby, BC. Orion is designed such that it can be used remotely, and this is the mode we’ll be using for the demos.
They're going to run a hardware demo in California on brand-new, highly-anticipated, but widely-doubted technology, and the hardware will be a thousand miles away from the demonstration site? Not the greatest marketing concept I've ever heard, and it won't do much to fend off those skeptics no matter how well it seems to work. We'll check back next week.

But in the meantime, D-wave's blog also points to a paper on on the Orion's architecture. Arxiv? Did I mention that I was really busy yesterday? And this news is burning up the gadget blogs, e.g. check out these images posted to Gizmodo...


leila said...

the post is for last year and now im leaving a commnet!
Im intrested in entropy in quantum computers, i searched it and there was your blog so i thought maybe you could help me.
im looking for some good sources and im so confused cause there are so many! i thought there must be some fundamental things which i should know.
i just studied a little quantum computaion and simulation and want to know more

ian said...

There's a nice review article on entropy bounds for quantum computers by Seth Lloyd in Nature, vol 406 page 1047. He uses heavy ion collision in one example, but I suspect his estimates there are invalidated by recent advances.

cheap computers said...

I doubt that this computing method is substantially easier to achieve than any other.

mahasiswa teladan said...

hi..Im college student, thanks for sharing :)