D-Wave Systems previews 2000-qubit quantum processor
Comment of the Day

September 29 2016

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

D-Wave Systems previews 2000-qubit quantum processor

This press release from D-Wave Systems may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

“As the only company to have developed and commercialized a scalable quantum computer, we’re continuing our record of rapid increases in the power of our systems, now up to 2000 qubits.  Our growing user base provides real world experience that helps us design features and capabilities that provide quantifiable benefits,” said Jeremy Hilton, senior vice president, Systems at D-Wave. “A good example of this is giving users the ability to tune the quantum algorithm to improve application performance."

“Our focus is on delivering quantum technology for customers in the real world,” said Vern Brownell, D-Wave’s CEO. “As we scale our processors, we’re adding features and capabilities that give users new ways to solve problems. These new features can enable machine learning applications that we believe are not available on classical systems. We are also developing software tools and training the first generation of quantum programmers, which will push forward the development of practical commercial applications for quantum systems.”

Eoin Treacy's view

D-Wave Systems has received investment from companies like Google and Lockheed Martin as well as NASA but its press releases have tended to trend towards exaggeration. There is considerable debate about the efficacy of the solutions they propose and if one is keeping up with the news there is obviously a chasm between the size of the computers D-Wave claims to be producing and those created by other more conservative companies. 

One of the problems with ascertaining how effective quantum computers are rests in the type of problem they are best at solving. For example a regular desktop computer can be expected to outperform a quantum computer when asked to solve mechanistic problems such as a lengthy series of quadratic equations. Quantum computers are better suited to solving probability oriented questions because they run through every possible permutation at once and select the most likely.
IBM has made announcements that it has a working quantum computer in the order of 5 qubits which is orders of magnitudes smaller than that claimed by D-Wave Systems. That would suggest that there is some obfuscation in the way in which quantum computer efficiency and size is reported. In the meantime IBM is now offering quantum computing services via the cloud and its Watson artificial intelligence. 

The share would appear to have been the subject of an algorithmic trading fishing operation today as it traded up over 4% on the purchase of just 150 shares before falling back. It continues to trade in the region of the trend mean, following an equal sized pullback relative to the April through July range and will need to continue to hold the low near $150 if potential for continued higher to lateral ranging is to be given the benefit of the doubt. 

Back to top

You need to be logged in to comment.

New members registration