Canadian company D-Wave Systems, engaged in the development and creation of quantum computers, has received an investment of $ 30 million. The group of investors includes Amazon founder Jeffrey Bezos and US-based In-Q-Tel, which invests in promising information technology projects and provides the latest equipment by the CIA and the NSA. “Our customers are of intelligence have problems to solve on a computer that classical architecture is very difficult – says one of the leaders of In-Q-Tel Robert Ames. We believe that quantum computing can be useful here.”
It is worth recalling that the “first commercial quantum computer D-Wave One, made by Canadians, was sold last spring for $ 10 million. The buyer was a giant gun Lockheed Martin, has set a purchased car – a black cube box with a cryogenic system, with its size similar to the first computers – at the University of Southern California. American arms manufacturers and aerospace decided to use D-Wave One in a research project aimed at creating an efficient automated system troubleshooting in a specialized software (errors of this kind that, say, delay testing of the new fighter-bomber F-35).
CPU D-Wave One contains 128 superconducting qubits with Josephson junctions – United superconductors separated by a thin dielectric layer, – the type Nb / AlOx / Nb. In fact, the array of qubits is an artificial system of spins of the Ising model with programmable spin-spin interactions. This system allows us to solve the optimization problem, reduced to finding the ground state for a set of Ising spins on a method of “quantum annealing” – some kind of finding the global minimum of the objective function by quantum fluctuations (tunneling through the potential barrier).
Opportunities D-Wave One of its developers recently demonstrated by the example of the problem of protein folding. The essence of it is to find the most stable protein with a specific packaging amino acid sequence. A measure of the stability of the structure is called the free energy, the global minimum is a computer and had to find.
To test the scientists present the elementary sequence of six amino acids from which the 128-qubit processor, cooled to 20 mK, successfully coped. In reality, quantum computers will solve much more complex problems, and experts D-Wave Systems, aware of this, try to improve the reliability of the calculations and produce more powerful the processor. The latter, called Vesuvius unites 512 qubits.
Some scholars, however, continue to criticize the Canadian company. “They created the installation is very interesting from an engineering point of view, – says MIT professor Scott Aaronson (says Scott Aaronson). However, strong evidence that the D-Wave One solves the problem truly quantum-mechanical way, and though faster than its classical counterparts, we have not seen. Yes, before [that is, until May 2011 - the date of publication in the Nature article on the "annealing" chain of eight spins simulated superconducting qubits] gap between advertising claims and scientific results have been more visible, but it is not done, and now.” All questions, according to Mr. Aaronson, would remove one publication in a peer-reviewed journal, which would result in clear evidence that the processor implements the key quantum effects (confusion, the superposition state), and the direct comparison of classical and quantum computing.