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US government lab dabbles in new computer designs

Agam Shah | Nov. 12, 2015
Los Alamos National Laboratory is preparing for the computing age beyond PCs and servers.

Trying to boost performance while reducing power consumption and the cost of systems, however, is a "convoluted metric," Sarrao said, adding that quantum computers could provide a new model to replace systems like Trinity, an LANL supercomputer due to go live next year.

"We paid a lot more for Trinity than D-wave," Sarrao noted.

D-Wave systems are being used at Lockheed Martin, which shares the system with the University of Southern California’s Information Sciences Institute, and Google, which shares the system with NASA’s Ames Research Center and the Universities Space Research Association.

The systems are suited for complex problems and could be used in finance, machine learning, logistics, pattern recognition and anomaly detection, said D-Wave President Robert Ewald.

D-Wave is already working on improvements for a quantum computer that will succeed the 2X, which has more than 1,000 qubits. Ewald couldn't provide a release date for the new system.

"We expect ... more qubits, improvements in network topology, error and noise reduction, among other upgrades," Ewald said.

 

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