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March 10, 2007

NASA provides some validation for Dwave Systems quantum computer

Although these are some words of support, the issues will not be decided until next year when Dwave's larger systems show that they provide speedup over classical systems for commercially interesting problems.

NASA provides some validation of Dwave Systems quantum computer claims

The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration confirmed Thursday that it built a special chip used in a disputed demonstration of quantum computing in February.

NASA engineers used their experience with sub-micrometer dimensions and ultra-low temperatures to build a quantum processor for Canadian startup D-Wave Systems Inc., said Alan Kleinsasser, principal investigator in the quantum chip program at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

"There has been activity in MDL in quantum technology, including quantum computing, for around 10 years," Kleinsasser said. "Superconducting quantum computing technology requires devices and ultra-low [millikelvin] temperatures that are also required in much of our sensor work. A couple of years ago, D-Wave recognized that JPL is capable of producing the chips it wished to design. There is no [private] industry that can deliver such superconducting devices. So, we worked out a collaboration that produced the chips that D-Wave is currently using."

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