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December 01, 2011

Dwave Systems shows off 512 qubit quantum computer chip

The next generation of D-Wave’s adiabatic quantum computer technology is called Vesuvius, and it’s going to be a very interesting processor. It will have 512 qubits and the system is scheduled for release late in 2012. The testing and development of this new generation of quantum processor is going well. Originally Dwave had talked about getting to over 1000 qubits by the end of 2008. Perhaps they have solved the issues which caused them to put off scaling the chips. Perhaps in 2013, Dwave will go to 1000 and 2000 qubit chips.

From Suzanne Gildert - Dwave System is hoping to scale along a Moore’s law like trajectory, but it is incredibly difficult with so many technical challenges of building a new processor technology. They are really hopeful that they will be able to scale to 1000, 2000…qubits. Of course like you say there is always the possibility of unknowns.

Regarding entanglement, it is something they are looking into, but there is not really a good definition of entanglement (or any ideas in the literature of how to measure it) for more than 2 qubits in an open quantum system. The physicists at D-Wave are trying to come up with more experiments to verify the quantum nature of the chip at larger and larger scales. Everything they have measured so far has agreed with quantum mechanical theory so we’re confident that it will pass future ‘tests’ too.

An entire wafer of Vesuvius processors after the full fabrication process has completed.




Photographing the wafer from a different angle allows more of the structure to be seen. Exercise for the reader: Estimate the number of qubits in this image

A different angle of shot produces different colours and allows different areas of the circuitry to become visible.

An image of a processor wire-bonded to the quantum computing chip carrier , ready to be installed into the computer system. The wires carry the signals to the quantum components and associated circuitry on the chip.

The full chip packaging (motherboard) is visible, complete with wafer.
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