Many technology companies talk about changing the world, but few are willing to do what it takes to invest the resources necessary to take on really hard problems in the face of enormous risk.
Every so often there is a chance to make a difference, to undertake a project - in the style of the Apollo moon landings - which against all odds makes a "technology of the future" an achievement of today.
People often comment on research technologies
as being blue-sky ideas; useful in 20 years' time. But we're not content
with something that's always 20 years away. We want to make it happen now.
Changing the World - Vern Brownell, CEO
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D-Wave was founded in 1999 with the goal of making practical quantum computing a reality. For 5 years the company worked to gather IP and ideas on all different aspects of this area. D-Wave has the support of a blue-chip investor base including Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Goldman Sachs, Harris & Harris, GrowthWorks, the Business Development Bank of Canada, and International Investment Underwriters. The company currently owns over 90 granted US patents and has over 100 pending patent applications worldwide relating to quantum computing and superconducting electronics.
In 2004 the focus changed - it became apparent that simply creating good ideas about quantum computing and looking externally for a research team who would use this knowledge to build such a machine wouldn't work. No-one was willing to build the machine, so we decided to do it ourselves. We built our own fabrication facility - a superconducting electronics foundry - to produce the processors required to use quantum effects to compute. We assembled a team of scientists to design, fabricate and test the processors in our own in-house labs.
Now we've built the systems, we are finding more and more ways to use them. In 2011 we created a dedicated applications team to put the quantum computers to work solving industry-scale classification, learning and optimization problems along with customers and collaborators.