Quantum computing is in the news, but...

Quantum computing is in the news today (such as this article which carries the dubious front-page text of “Quantum computers ready to go commercial”, and here which is much more accurate) because Canadian start-up D-Wave demo’ed their 16-bit “quantum computer” yesterday. Quantum computer is in scare quotes in that sentence because their demo did not provide enough details to say one way or another whether their system is actually a quantum computer, because all they showed was some pretty graphics and solutions to problems which they claimed were being run on their hardware. It’s going to take a lot more than that to appease the scientific community.

Dave Bacon provides a fair critique (warning: very technical!) as well as amusing commentary (not very technical) on the hype that this is getting in the press.

I think that what D-Wave is trying is pretty neat, but I am very skeptical at this point.

Update: Apparently D-Wave themselves are not willing to state with certainty that their machine is truly quantum. See the AP article on CNN.


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