In May 2008, Dwave had developed a 48 qubit quantum computer system and this month (November, 2008) Dwave will produce their 128 qubit design.
Background of Dwave and the Older RSFQ Superconducting Design
Dwave cools superconducting circuits to nearly absolute zero.
The approach Dwave Systems chose
• Business: Quantum adiabatic algorithms
– Solve combinatorial optimization & constraint satisfaction problems
– For experts: quadratic unconstrained binary optimization
• Technology: Superconducting adiabatic quantum computer (AQC)
– Grid of magnetic flux qubits connected by tunable flux transformers
• Science: AQC known to be exceptionally robust against noise
– Ground state entanglement an equilibrium property of the system
Prototype systems available for use now in at least two flavors (ours, liquid-state NMR)
History back to IBM Josephson junction supercomputer ~ late 70s
– Ultra fast (700+ GHz) and ultra low power
– Only approach where (V)LSI quantum circuits can be built using standard fab
The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) has identified Superconducting Rapid Single Flux Quantum (RSFQ) technology as the most promising technology in the continuing demand for faster processors.
Dwave is Trying Minimize Changes to Existing Computer Processes and Configurations
They use modified SQL with preferences, constraints and optimization to query their system.
The quantum computers will be accessed via web interfaces and will be housed in configurations that are compatible with existing computer centers.
Algorithms and their speed-ups available at the Quantum Algorithm Zoo. Note: Adiabatic versions of some of these algorithms may not exist and may not have the same speedup.
Dwave believes their system will run quantum algorithms that are useful and will offer significant speedup over classical computers.