Today, quantum computing company D-Wave is announcing the availability of its next-generation quantum annealer, a specialized processor that uses quantum effects to solve optimization and minimization problems.
The hardware itself isn't much of a surprise—D-Wave was discussing its details months ago—but D-Wave talked with Ars about the challenges of building a chip with over a million individual quantum devices.
Quantum computers being built by companies like Google and IBM are general-purpose, gate-based machines.
This idea matches D-Wave's hardware pretty well, since it's much easier to add qubits to a quantum annealer; the company's current offering has 2,000 of them.
While errors in a gate-based quantum computer typically result in a useless output, failures on a D-Wave machine usually mean the answer it returns is low-energy, but not the lowest.
As mentioned above, problems are structured as a specific configuration of connections among the machine's qubits.
D-Wave, a quantum computing company based in Burnaby, Canada, has announced what it claims is “by far the largest and most powerful quantum computer in existence today”.
The firm already has several clients using its new device, called Advantage, but others in the field have qualms about its claims, pointing out that both classical and quantum computers exist that exceed its capabilities.
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