"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.