Technology Deep Dive
D-Wave's computing systems are complex machines constructed using state of the art ideas and approaches from many different fields of science and technology. While the quantum processor itself is the heart of the machine, the infrastructure that makes the processor go is also designed, built and tested extensively by D-Wave. Our scientists and engineers work on every aspect of the machine to build the most powerful and advanced computing system possible.
The video opposite and the documents below describe some of the features of our processor technology in more detail.
Processor elements overview
The quantum processor inside the D-Wave OneTM is comprised of three main types of component:
Qubits: The most important elements of the quantum processor; the job of the qubits is to be able to store a piece of information either as a 0, or a 1, or - using quantum mechanical effects - as a superposition of both 0 and 1 at the same time.
Couplers: Couplers are elements that connect the qubits together. The job of the couplers is to try to force the two qubits to which they are joined to either be in the same states, (e.g. 0,0 or 1,1), or opposite states (0,1 or 1,0), depending upon how they are programmed.
Programmable Magnetic Memory: An extensive network of peripheral circuitry surrounds the qubits and couplers. This circuitry consists mainly of digital-to-analog converters and a device addressing system (bus). This circuitry allows each qubit and coupler to be programmed so that the user can specify the problem that they wish to solve.
During processor operation...
In the D-Wave processor, the qubits can slowly be tuned (annealed) from their superposition state (where they are 0 and 1 at the same time) into to a classical state (where they are either 0 or 1). When this is done in the presence of the programmed memory elements on the processor, the 0 and 1 states that the qubits end up settling into gives the answer to a user-defined problem. All circuitry on the D-Wave processors is made from a material known as a superconductor, which is cooled to 20mK, (near absolute zero) in order for the quantum effects to manifest in the material.
Inside the chip: Video showing 3D Animation of how the components in a Rainier processor fit together