DWave’s updated quantum optimizer gets beaten by a classical computer

Quantum computing promises a huge speedup for certain classes of problems, such as factoring prime numbers. But so far, building a true quantum computer with more than a few bits of processing power has proven an insurmountable hurdle. A company called DWave initially confused matters by announcing that it had developed a quantum computer, but after a bit of back-and-forth, the company has settled on calling its machine a quantum optimizer. It can perform calculations that may rely on quantum effects, but it’s not a general quantum computer.

With that settled, the obvious question became whether the quantum optimizer was worth the money—did it actually outperform classical computers for some problems? Some initial results published last year looked promising, as an early production machine outperformed classical computers on a number of tests. But that work came under fire because some of the algorithms run on the classical machine weren’t as optimized as they could have been.

Now, a new team of computer scientists has taken DWave’s latest creation, a 512-bit quantum optimizer, and put it through its paces on a single problem. And here, the results are pretty clear: a single classical processor handily beats the DWave machine in most circumstances.

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via Ars Technica http://ift.tt/KyL2h7

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