First Commercial Quantum Computer!

Following on from some of my earlier posts about quantum computing, today while surfing the web, I came across what is being called the “First Commercial Quantum Computer”.
D-Wave Systems, a computing firm in the united states has created it’s new system called “D-Wave One”, it’s the size of a small car and costs about as much as a fighter jet (US$10 million), what do you get for the money?

From D-Wave Systems website, Copyright D-Wave Systems.

 http://www.dwavesys.com/en/products-serv…)

It’s a 128 qubit quantum computer, complete with it’s own cooling system, chilling it’s wires down to 0.005 above absolute zero so they can act as superconductors. It’s able to process heaps of those quirky qubits, however it is still slower than a conventional computer, something that D-Wave say will come with advancements in the technology both in hardware, and software as more people develop applications for qubit systems.

The creation has been met with mixed signals around the globe, with a lot of scientists questioning if the machine truely is a ‘quantum’ computer, or if it is merly a close approximation. However the technology behind has been published in the popular journal, ‘Nature’, check it out here.

To put it simply, the system uses the electromagnetic flux generated from a coil of superconducting wires to model quantum state behaviour and randomness. D-Wave claim that this ‘model’ has the same behaviour a quantum system for the purposes of performing qubit calculations.

This is the business end…

What’s That? (71)

What’s That? (71), by jurvetson, Copyright D-Wave Systems.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/3…)

Also, look similar?

Zuse Z3 im Deutschen Museum in München, by Venusianer, licenced under GNU Free Documentation License.

Thats the Zuse Z3 computer, was the king of it’s time in 1941, and is considered the world’s first working programmable, fully automatic computing machine, will it be 60 years before we have quantum laptops?

One Comment

  1. mgburton
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    Can’t say there will be too many customers for this beast. Not too many departments have $10 million floating around to spend on the latest in computing technology, after all. None the less, it will be interesting to see just where commercial “quantum” computers end up in the years ahead; even a loose approximation is a start.

    Also, thanks for that blast from the past right at the end. :) It’s easy to forget just how far computers have come over the years, as well as how far technology is still progressing today. You have to wonder if there will ever be a limit to such growth!

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