D-wave systems, whose paracomputer, err, I mean quantum-maybe computer, which sparked quite a bit of controversy earlier this year, is back in the news. This time D-wave is at the big superconducting conference (SC07) being held in Reno, Nevada and is demonstrating a 28-qubit quantum-maybe computer. Paint me an ivory tower skeptic, but I don’t think their system will work as they expect it to. Of course, this being, D-wave, the news article makes for some entertaining reading.
First up we have this beautiful quote from Geordie Rose, D-Wave founder and CTO,
“We have been collaborating with Hartmut Neven, founder of the image-recognition company, Neven Vision, just after Google acquired it last year,” said Rose. “Neven’s original algorithms had to make many compromises on how it did things–since ordinary computers can’t do things the way the brain does. But we believe that our quantum computer algorithms are not all that different from the way the brain solves image-matching problems, so we were able to simplify Neven’s algorithms and get superior results.”
Sweet, not only is D-wave’s quantum-maybe computer going to be a real quantum computer, but it’s going to be a quantum brain! I can see Roger Penrose jumping up and down from here.
Now if comparing a quantum computer to the brain wasn’t biological enough for you, then you only need to read a bit further to find Rose really bringing in the life sciences (the [sic]s are EE Times errors, not Geordy’s, unless he’s decided to become a Merminite):
“It will house enough qbits[sic] to begin solving mathematical problems that are intractable today. D-Wave’s current prototypes are not amenable to scaling up to hundred of qbits[sic], but with the knowledge we’ve gained over the last year, we feel that the last remaining technical obstacles to life-size quantum computers have been removed.”
“Life-size” quantum computers? Sweet next time I want to talk about building a scalable quantum computer, I’m going to use the word “life-sized.” Then maybe I’ll get some NIH funding (or is that the key to venture capital funding?) But seriously, what is the admission that the current prototypes are not amenable to scaling up to hundreds of qubit?