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Quantum Computer Firm D-Wave Claims Massive Performance Boost


D-Wave 2X

The D-Wave 2X features more than 1,000 qubits double the company's previous model.

Credit: D-Wave Systems

D-Wave Systems, which makes computers with some quantum properties, announced its latest device, the D-Wave 2X, which the company claims is up to 15 times faster than regular PCs. However, as with many of D-Wave's claims about its computers, many experts are skeptical.

The company says the 2X features more than 1,000 qubits, double that of its previous model, as well as refinements that have reduced noise and increased performance. D-Wave claims to have tested the 2X against specialized optimization software running on an ordinary PC and says its new computer was able to find answers between two and 15 times faster.

However, some experts have challenged whether this test is an accurate measure of the 2X's capabilities. ETH Zurich professor Matthias Troyer points out D-Wave only tested the 2X against a single core of an eight-core processor and the test was structured to favor the 2X. University of California, Berkeley professor Umesh Vazirani says to truly test the 2X, its performance should be compared to that of top-of-the-line graphical-processing units, which increasingly are used in large-scale parallel computing. Troyer says the way to prove the 2X is really a working quantum computer is a runaway performance boost on larger and larger problems.

From New Scientist
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