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Meithan 02-15-2007 01:43 PM

Quantum Computer Demoed, Plays Sudoku
From Slashdot:


"Canadian company D-Wave Systems is getting some technology press buzz after successfully demonstrating their quantum computer (discussed here earlier) that the company plans to rent out. Scientific American has a more technical description of how the quantum computer works, as well as possible areas of application: 'The quantum computer was given three problems to solve: searching for molecular structures that match a target molecule, creating a complicated seating plan, and filling in Sudoku puzzles.' Another attendee provides some videos from the demo."
Personally I'm ecstatic. I feel like a teenager after getting his first Playboy lol :). This is huge, or at least so it appears. The previous advancement in quantum computation was when IBM's prototype factorized the number 15 into 3*5. But now D-Wave's prototype can solve Sudoku puzzles!

If they manage to scale their current computer to something more useful (16 qubits is not large enough to solve useful problems), then I think commercial quantum computers will be available within the next 5 years (they say by 2008!).

Of course, it doesn't mean you'll be able to play Doom3 on it, lol. For starters, these "commercial" computers will weight maybe a ton, require several kilowatts of power and a large room to fit all the cooling system. They'll be destined for research and simulation mainly, aimed at universities, companies and the government.

Also, you should know that all current quantum computer designs aren't "general purpose", ie: the computers are designed (both from the software and hardware perspectives) to solve a very specific set of problems. They cannot be programmed the way your desktop computer can.

It's still a huge breakthrough, however. If quantum computation will ever be available for home use -and that's a huge if- then D-Wave has just this week shaved 10 or maybe 20 years off the development process.

savagenator 02-16-2007 02:00 PM

wow, since i read about quantum computing i've been dreaming about its future, and its finnaly come!!!! omg i am also excited!

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