Warp drive continues to be tested


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Message 1368889 - Posted: 17 May 2013, 12:45:33 UTC - in response to Message 1368729.
Last modified: 17 May 2013, 12:47:36 UTC

Here is theregister.co.uk version:
D-Wave 2

For The Register for such a device, that is a rather muted article!

Here's the take from the BBC which is somewhat more informative:


Nasa buys into 'quantum' computer

A $15m computer that uses "quantum physics" effects to boost its speed is to be installed at a Nasa facility.

It will be shared by Google, Nasa, and other scientists, providing access to a machine said to be up to 3,600 times faster than conventional computers.

Unlike standard machines, the D-Wave Two processor appears to make use of an effect called quantum tunnelling.

This allows it to reach solutions to certain types of mathematical problems in fractions of a second. ...

... Instead, D-Wave Systems has been focused on building machines that exploit a technique called quantum annealing - a way of distilling the optimal mathematical solutions from all the possibilities...




So in there is the critical description: "quantum annealing".

So... Rather than being a 'quantum computer' as is commonly described, it is actually a clever device to use very fast annealing to perform parallel computations/searches. The "Effectively, it can try all possible solutions at the same time and then select the best" is exactly that: "effectively", but not actually simultaneously.

Searches are made/computed just as simulated annealing is already used in computing. The 'new' 'quantum' aspect is that quantum tunneling is utilised to perform the annealing using a fast physical device. All very fast and no mean feat.

However, I think that calling that a "quantum computer" is stretching the Marketing description a little too far... There are no multidimensional Schrodinger cats in there.


Still, rather an interesting if a rather expensive fast device to perform searches using physical/simulated annealing.

Keep searchin',
Martin
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Message 1368929 - Posted: 17 May 2013, 14:50:38 UTC

I think the subject of quantum computers should have it's own thread as it seems there are two discussions going on here. Quantum computers may only be relevant to warp drive as a means to either calculate how to construct one or if constructed to control the drive.
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Message 1368932 - Posted: 17 May 2013, 14:57:46 UTC - in response to Message 1368929.

I think the subject of quantum computers should have it's own thread as it seems there are two discussions going on here. Quantum computers may only be relevant to warp drive as a means to either calculate how to construct one or if constructed to control the drive.


Yep I agree with you mate
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Message 1368958 - Posted: 17 May 2013, 15:29:34 UTC - in response to Message 1368932.

I think the subject of quantum computers should have it's own thread as it seems there are two discussions going on here. Quantum computers may only be relevant to warp drive as a means to either calculate how to construct one or if constructed to control the drive.


Yep I agree with you mate


yeah +1
a modo should do that!

a 1 page warp drive, and 6 of quantum ^^
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Message 1369358 - Posted: 18 May 2013, 15:23:16 UTC - in response to Message 1368929.

I think the subject of quantum computers should have it's own thread as it seems there are two discussions going on here. Quantum computers may only be relevant to warp drive as a means to either calculate how to construct one or if constructed to control the drive.
I concur.

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Message 1369467 - Posted: 18 May 2013, 20:55:59 UTC

the D-Wave Two processor appears to make use of an effect called quantum tunnelling.


That's the way any semiconductor works.

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Message 1387563 - Posted: 4 Jul 2013, 9:17:01 UTC - in response to Message 1366371.

oh one more thing a true Qantum computer with 300 Qantum bits would be the size of a grain of sand

The D-Wave 2 with 512 qubits has the size of a small room.
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Message 1387573 - Posted: 4 Jul 2013, 10:18:17 UTC - in response to Message 1366377.
Last modified: 4 Jul 2013, 10:29:24 UTC

a true Qantum computer with 300 Qantum bits would be the size of a grain of sand


Let's concentrate on exactly why a quantum computer offers an advantage and exactly how it works. Yesterday I got a free Micro S-chip that is one third the size of a postage stamp; it has 2 gigabytes of storage. That is exactly: 16,000,000,000 bits of information. It has a plug-in connector. It came with a $12.00 calculator.

So how do you get information in and out of a quantum computer that is the size of a grain of sand. Also, any 8 bit (Binary) byte has 256 states. Any transistor works by tunneling either of electrons or "Holes"

To sum up all of the g-whiz statements made as homage to quantum computers: they are exactly those traits that exist in todays computers or could be implemented today in standard digital logic.

So how do they work? What is the advantage, and can they be general or specific application processors. We are now approaching 100,000,000,000,000 floating point calculations per second with today's advanced computers.

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Message 1387578 - Posted: 4 Jul 2013, 10:55:43 UTC - in response to Message 1387573.

I don't think that D-Wave 1 or 2 are digital computers. They are analog computers working on optimization problems like the traveling salesman path which is not solvable by any digital computer in any finite time. If they can demonstrate this ability they would be very useful, for instance in pattern recognition problems.
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Message 1389215 - Posted: 9 Jul 2013, 14:32:35 UTC - in response to Message 1387578.

I don't think that D-Wave 1 or 2 are digital computers. They are analog computers working on optimization problems like the traveling salesman path...

I find it very curious and suspicious that there are no big news/science splashes for the device beyond extreme Marketing hype. If they were working as Marketed, you could bet that either the NSA would buy them out and we would hear nothing at all. Or the remarkable results would be hot news all around the world.

Instead, we have the two devices: One to the military and one to NASA.

All I've seen for them is a science paper suggesting the use of quantum effects between four qubits over surprisingly long periods of microseconds.

The equipment is spectacular, and it is an interesting alternate idea for going quantum, but does it work?


Keep searchin',
Martin

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Message 1389230 - Posted: 9 Jul 2013, 15:16:11 UTC

This is a quotation from an article in Physics World, a magazine from the American Institute of Physics:

D-Wave says that Google, NASA
and the USRA subjected its 512-qubit
system to a series of benchmark and
acceptance tests before installation. “In
all cases, the D-Wave Two system met
or exceeded the required performance
specifications, in some cases by a large
margin,” claims the company.
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Message boards : Science (non-SETI) : Warp drive continues to be tested

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