DWave's 2,000Qubit Quantum Annealing Computer Now 1,000x Faster Than Previous Generation
DWave, a Canadian company developing the first commercial “quantum computer,” announced its nextgeneration quantum annealing computer with 2,000 qubits, which is twice as many as its previous generation had.
History Of DWave
DWave was created more than a decade ago, when it first developed a 16qubit prototype. The company unveiled its 28qubit version publicly for the first time in 2007. Since then, its increased its number of qubits at a steady pace, more than doubling every two years or so.
In 2013, the company announced its 512qubit computer and a collaboration between Google and NASA, who were going to test various algorithms on it and see how fast it could get compared to conventional computers. Last year, DWave announced a 1,000qubit generation, and now the company is previewing its 2,000qubit computer, which will likely go on sale next year.
Criticism And Results
DWave has been criticized by many quantum computing experts, who, for one, say it’s not a true universal quantum computer (which Google itself and IBM are now building), and second, they don’t believe DWave’s “quantum annealing computer” is all that useful compared to standard computers.
A quantum annealing computer is a specialpurpose quantum computer, so the difference between it and a universal quantum computer is kind of like the difference between an ASIC and a CPU. In theory, DWave’s computer should at least be useful for some optimization problems, where you have many variables and are trying to optimize for the best solution.
Last year, Google announced that its tests show that for quantum annealing tasks, DWave’s 1,000qubit computer proved to be 100 million times faster than a classical computer with a single core:
"We found that for problem instances involving nearly 1,000 binary variables, quantum annealing significantly outperforms its classical counterpart, simulated annealing. It is more than 10^8 times faster than simulated annealing running on a single core," said Hartmut Neven, Google's Director of Engineering.
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Even if you account for the fact that a DWave computer that costs $10 million is more than 10,000 times more expensive than a regular PC, you’re still left with a difference in performance of 10,000 times faster/dollar.
However, Google’s engineers also admitted that, for now, there aren’t too many practical uses for DWave’s technology, but that could change with future DWave generations.
The 2,000Qubit DWave Computer
One highly exciting aspect of quantum computers of all types is that beyond the seemingly Moore’s Lawlike increase in number of qubits every two years, their performance increases much more than just 2x, unlike with regular microprocessors. This is because qubits can hold a value of 0, 1, or a superposition of the two, making quantum systems able to deal with much more complex information.
If DWave's 2,000qubit computer is now 1,000 faster than the previous 1,000qubit generation (DWave 2X), that would mean that, for the things Google tested last year, it should now be 100 billion times faster than a singlecore CPU.
The new generation also comes with control features, which allows users to modify how DWave’s quantum system works to better optimize their solutions. These control features include the following capabilities:
The ability to tune the rate of annealing of individual qubits to enhance application performanceThe ability to sample the state of the quantum computer during the quantum annealing process to power hybrid quantumclassical machine learning algorithms that were not previously possibleThe ability to combine quantum processing with classical processing to improve the quality of both optimization and sampling results returned from the system.
DWave’s CEO, Vern Brownell, also said that DWave’s quantum computers could also be used for machine learning task in ways that wouldn’t be possible on classical computers. The company is also training the first generation of programmers to develop applications for DWave quantum systems.
More information about the new computer will be unveiled today at DWave’s first users conference in in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where representatives from Los Alamos National Laboratory, NASA, Lockheed Martin, the Roswell Park Cancer Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, USC, and DWave will be speaking.

targetdrone If DWave's 2,000qubit computer is now 1,000 faster than the previous 1,000qubit generation (DWave 2X), that would mean that, for the things Google tested last year, it should now be 100 billion times faster than a singlecore CPU.Reply
and yet it still can't run Crisis. 
texastim65 I'm curious as to whether breaking encryption is something that the qubit computer is designed for or can do.Reply
Being billions of times faster than conventional computers could mean breaking encryption becomes more practical for the NSA or anyone else able to afford it. 
leoscott Odds are NSA has something that will break encryption already. They generally don't talk about their good toys.Reply 
For encryption, quantum computing doesn't really help. Time for a 512bit key is still infinite. A quantum computer saves at most a squared amount of tries. So a 256 bit key would take an average of 2^127 tries, 2^128 tries to be sure, rather than 2^256 bit tries on regular computing.Reply
That's still about a billion billion years, or considerably longer than the age of the universe.
People that claim you can "break encryption" just don't understand the math. You can break it by implementation issues, or other means, but not mathematically. 
Adr2t Well one factor is that key it self wouldn't be random though. Most people don't pick random passwords but passwords that have some English words in them  in theory  that cuts a good chunk of the guess work out.Reply 
18660930 said:Well one factor is that key it self wouldn't be random though. Most people don't pick random passwords but passwords that have some English words in them  in theory  that cuts a good chunk of the guess work out.
But you can't predict where it cuts the guess work. That's the beauty of modern encryption.
Unless you try directly the passwords. And that's all what modern hacking is, rotate the usernames using a fixed password. Not using various passwords for a same user. Someone in the group probably uses "Elv1s4ever", right? 
bit_user I noted the improvements in the description of these machines and what they're good at, Lucian. However:Replytheir performance increases much more than just 2x, unlike with regular microprocessors. This is because qubits can hold a value of 0, 1, or a superposition of the two, making quantum systems able to deal with much more complex
No, it comes from the fact that each new qubit works in conjunction with all the others. So, the performance improvement should be exponential. Assuming they can still readily achieve and maintain entanglement.
One thing I find so exciting about quantum computers is the kinds of optimization problems we'll be able to solve in areas like system and even mechanical design. 
I love how I'm being downvoted, by people that don't understand math. You're either O(n^(1/2)), or O(log(N)), which, in binary, is the same. More qubits don't help. Read a book.Reply

bit_user
I didn't downvote you, because I'm no expert on this subject.18661375 said:I love how I'm being downvoted, by people that don't understand math.
But, since you dinged me, I'd like you to explain why a quantum computer of at least 512 qubits wouldn't be able to simultaneously try all keys. That's my understanding of how they work.
Do you think Google is flatout wrong, in their claims? 
18661395 said:
I didn't downvote you, because I'm no expert on this subject.18661375 said:I love how I'm being downvoted, by people that don't understand math.
But, since you dinged me, I'd like you to explain why a quantum computer of at least 512 qubits wouldn't be able to simultaneously try all keys. That's my understanding of how they work.
Do you think Google is flatout wrong, in their claims?
What Google claim? Search "Shor's algorithm", or "Postquantum cryptography". Basically, some calculations are extremely faster. Some, including prime numbers, not so much.
IMO, if it's number theory related, don't expect "exponentially faster" solutions. I wish they existed, but, it's so basic, it doesn't yield.