Wednesday, February 14, 2007

First Commericially Available Quantum Computer

The world’s first commercially viable quantum computer was unveiled and demonstrated today in Silicon Valley by D-Wave Systems, Inc., a privately-held Canadian firm headquartered near Vancouver.


Quantum-computer technology can solve what is known as “NP-complete” problems. These are the problems where the sheer volume of complex data and variables prevent digital computers from achieving results in a reasonable amount of time. Such problems are associated with life sciences, biometrics, logistics, parametric database search and quantitative finance, among many other commercial and scientific areas.

Keep in mind this is effectively a problem specific machine. These are often shrunk down to be coprocessors on most machines. On the other hand, they can be made into massive HPC platforms too for a specific application. Japan often builds gobsmacking machines to that end. If you are concerned about your encryption keys, well, if you can build a task specific quantum computer these days...heh heh heh.

As for a generic use quantum computer, its not there yet. It might be soon. Very soon. A friend of mine has a genius of a wife. Her comments about quantum computers 6 years ago made it apparent that it was coming sooner than people thought, but further away than you would think. Now it's apparent why. Task specific QCs might just be here, but the generic QCs as CPUs are not.

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