Debate over Canadian company’s quantum computer heats up

It’s hard to be a technology leader, especially when the technology you’re touting is bleeding edge.
That’s what British Columbia’s D-Wave Systems is finding out in its quest to commercialize quantum computing.
According to a report from ComputerWorld U.S., IBM and researchers at the University of California have asked questions about whether one of D-Wave’s experimental computers used by Google is really relying on quantum mechanics.
Researchers have developed a model that they say shows that for a given problem solved by a D-Wave computer a similar result could have been achieved through a standard process.

But Colin Williams, D-Wave’s business development director, says what has to be looked at is all of the results, not just one computation.

I won’t pretend to understand the mechanics of quantum computing (sorry), but there’s a lot riding on this. Organizations have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in standard servers, and the demand for crunching data won’t slack for the foreseeable future. The scrutiny over any work on quantum computing is also only going to increase

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The company says its flagship server is the 512-qubit D-Wave Two, which is built around a type of superconducting processor that uses quantum mechanics to massively accelerate computation.


Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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