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D-Wave will ship a 2,000-qubit quantum computer next year

Agam Shah | Sept. 21, 2016
D-Wave's new computer will have double the qubits and up to 1,000 times the performance of its earlier model

Qubits harness the laws of quantum mechanics to achieve various states, but are unstable and can quickly go out of control with the smallest of interruptions or disturbances. The instability could affect applications like genome sequencing, which need sustained processing capabilities for long periods. 

The behavior or state of qubits -- whether it'll be a one or zero or another state -- is hard to predict once they start interacting, or "entangling.” However, D-Wave has achieved a level of consistency in stabilizing the logical qubits in its quantum computers. The qubits are loaded in a controlled environment that is cooled and heavily pressurized.

Some critics have argued that D-Wave's technique isn't true quantum computing, while other researchers have validated the method. Either way, D-Wave is providing a powerful computer benefiting its customers.  

D-Wave is also going after the universal quantum computing model, Hilton said. But the short-term goal is to discover more use models in areas like artificial intelligence where D-Wave's quantum computer might hold promise.

With all the hype of quantum computers, PCs and servers won't go away anytime soon. More research is needed to build a universal quantum computer. The only competition to D-Wave is IBM, which is offering cloud-based access to a 5-qubit processor for people to experiment with.

 

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