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Nasa buys into 'quantum' computer

d-wave two processor quantum tunnelling ames research center qubits

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#1 Hum

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 00:12

A $15m computer that uses "quantum physics" effects to boost its speed is to be installed at a Nasa facility.

It will be shared by Google, Nasa, and other scientists, providing access to a machine said to be up to 3,600 times faster than conventional computers.

Unlike standard machines, the D-Wave Two processor appears to make use of an effect called quantum tunnelling.

This allows it to reach solutions to certain types of mathematical problems in fractions of a second.

Effectively, it can try all possible solutions at the same time and then select the best.

Google wants to use the facility at Nasa's Ames Research Center in California to find out how quantum computing might advance techniques of machine learning and artificial intelligence, including voice recognition.

University researchers will also get 20% of the time on the machine via the Universities Space Research Agency (USRA).

Nasa will likely use the commercially available machine for scheduling problems and planning.

Canadian company D-Wave Systems, which makes the machine, has drawn scepticism over the years from quantum computing experts around the world.

Until research outlined earlier this year, some even suggested its machines showed no evidence of using specifically quantum effects.

Quantum computing is based around exploiting the strange behaviour of matter at quantum scales.

Most work on this type of computing has focused on building quantum logic gates similar to the gate devices at the basis of conventional computing.

But physicists have repeatedly found that the problem with a gate-based approach is keeping the quantum bits, or qubits (the basic units of quantum information), in their quantum state.

"You get drop out… decoherence, where the qubits lapse into being simple 1s and 0s instead of the entangled quantum states you need. Errors creep in," says Prof Alan Woodward of Surrey University.

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#2 Growled

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 02:07

Cool. I bet it's fun to play games on that sucker. :D

#3 Mr.XXIV

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 02:10

I bet that Quantum treats Crysis like a Dreamcast

#4 Aheer.R.S.

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 02:10

It will be shared by Google, Nasa, and other scientists, providing access to a machine said to be up to 3,600 times faster than conventional computers.

Wow, the speed in which you get all those ads............

#5 The_Decryptor

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 07:12

But of course, D-Wave’s claims—and the claims being made on its behalf by the Hype-Industrial Complex—are far more aggressive than that. And so we come to the part of this post that has not been pre-approved by the International D-Wave Hype Repeaters Association. Namely, the same USC paper that reported the quantum annealing behavior of the D-Wave One, also showed no speed advantage whatsoever for quantum annealing over classical simulated annealing. In more detail, Matthias Troyer’s group spent a few months carefully studying the D-Wave problem—after which, they were able to write optimized simulated annealing code that solves the D-Wave problem on a normal, off-the-shelf classical computer, about 15 times faster than the D-Wave machine itself solves the D-Wave problem!


From here: http://www.scottaaro...om/blog/?p=1400

$10 $15 million on a "quantum computer" which is slower than a normal computer (Y)

#6 Growled

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 20:25

Well that's a bummer.