The latest iteration of D-Wave’s chip has 28 qubits (quantum bits), according to Rose. He said they were on track to show a 512 qubit machine next year, and 1024 the year after that. The die has room for a million qubits. But first things first, says Rose. “If we can’t get to 512 qubits by the end of next year, we’re in trouble,” he admitted.
Our product roadmap takes us to 512 qubits in the second quarter of 2008 and 1024 qubits by the end of 2008.
Rose has responded to the criticism saying that major developments have been made in quantum computing systems in the past years. He said that the 28-qubit computer, which will be demonstrated at SC07, will be able to use Dr. Neven’s image recognition algorithm to analyze a 300-image database, grouping the objects according to detected similarities. “Our image-matching demonstration, the core of which is too difficult for traditional computers, can automatically extract information from photos-recognizing whether photos contain people, places or things, and then categorize them by visual similarity” – he said.
The actual machine is a bit unweildy at the moment. In fact, it’s about as large as D-Wave’s entire booth, so demos were run remotely via a web service back to the lab. “We’re going to work on making the refrigerator a bit smaller and self-contained,” said Rose, thinking ahead to commercial deployments.
In the picture above you can see a magnified view of the individual qubits on the chip. Each qubit is connected to three of its neighbors. Rose was asked why people were so skeptical of his work. It all comes down to the traditional way of relating discoveries through peer reviewed journals, he explained… He promised. “We’re going to go out to some of the hotbeds of skepticism” in the coming year, he said, with the goal of silencing the nay-sayers. They might even file a paper or two, but it didn’t seem to be a priority.
Apparently the US Patent and Trademark office is convinced, having granted the company dozens of patents on the technology. Dozens more are pending. “We have more [quantum computing] patents than any other company in the world,” said Rose.