A Canadian company in Burnaby, BC is now selling a quantum computer that you can buy for your lab, or even your home if you have the resources and needs of Bruce Wayne or Tony Stark.
D-Wave Systems is offering the D-Wave One as the first commercial quantum computing system available on market. Dr. Geordie Rose, CTO of D-Wave, explained a bit about the D-Wave One's function in a blog post.
"The processor in the D-Wave One – codenamed Rainier – is designed to perform a single mathematical operation called discrete optimization. It is a special purpose processor," Rose wrote. "Rainier solves optimization problems using quantum annealing (opens in new tab) (QA), which is a class of problem solving approaches that use quantum effects to help get better solutions, faster."
The D-Wave One 129-qubit processor is only meant to tackle optimization problems. The other part of programs still runs on conventional systems.
Rose gave the simplified example of "supervised machine learning" for binary classification, such as yes or no. For example, an algorithm could train a binary classifier to return a response to an input of a first name of whether it is more likely to be a male or female name.
Obviously quantum computing has far greater reaches than just name classification, but artificial intelligence is one of the fields where the technology is going.
D-Wave's website for the machine is devoid of much info, but those who know they need it will know what it's all about. The only sticking point might be price, which Engadget was told is around $10 million. Yowza.