February 09, 2007

Reaction to the Dwave Quantum computer introduction

Experts are already duelling over the whether the machine will work. I think the arguments are irrelevent because Dwave has already been fully funded. They will make money when they scale this up this year and next year and make it faster than other methods. So the difference with the cold fusion claim is that cold fusion has only had some laboratory successes or anomalies while this should quickly be able to prove itself in the marketplace. Can it solve problems in far less elapsed clock time ? If yes, Dwave makes a lot of money.

"My gut instinct is that I doubt there is a major 'free lunch' here," Oxford University physicist Andrew Steane told Britain's Guardian newspaper Thursday. He described the prospect of a commercially viable quantum computer as akin to "claims of cold fusion."

But Seth Lloyd, a professor of mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, told CanWest News Service on Thursday that D-Wave's prototype -- which is based on ideas Lloyd pioneered -- "looks like a sensible, useful" application of the theory that could seriously kickstart the quantum age of computing.

"They're not likely to demonstrate something unless they already know it's going to work," said Lloyd, noting that four-qubit processors have been tested successfully in laboratories.

Lloyd and one of his graduate students at MIT devised the "adiabatic" acceleration system, employed by D-Wave, that theoretically prevents a quantum computer from crashing under a deluge of data.