A Response to the World's First "Quantum Computer Buyers' Guide"

D-Wave was included last month in a "quantum computer buyers’ guide" in the NewScientist. It was of course a bit fanciful, as the D-Wave quantum computer is the only system that one could actually buy now, as the others referenced are all research projects. But in the spirit of taking it seriously, we wanted to address some of the article's misconceptions and inaccuracies. 

Colin Williams, Director of Business Development & Strategic Partnerships (and a quantum computing expert) wrote a letter to do so, and NewScientist kindly published it this week. You can read the original article here and Colin's full response here. 

Contrary to the article:

  • Quantum entanglement was shown to be present in at least eight superconducting qubits in the D-Wave system in the peer-reviewed paper, Entanglement in a Quantum Annealing Processor. This paper demonstrated a world record for the number of superconducting qubits entangled.
  • D-Wave systems are suited not only for optimization computations, but also for integer factorization, sampling, machine learning and constraint satisfaction. 
  • Although our machine cannot run Shor's algorithm, it has factorised integers tens of thousands of times larger than the integers factored by any other quantum computer currently available.
  • Error correction is in fact present. Researchers at USC recently published results of experiments demonstrating error correction suited to quantum annealing.
  • We have a customizable user experience, and our machines can be programmed in Python, MATLAB, or C++ from any Internet-connected computer in the world.
  • There is a strong system in place for upgrades, and we have already updated our machines several times.
  • We continue to develop our system, and are intent on making the best possible system for our customers to solve real world problems.

​We understand the difficulty in making sense of a complex subject like quantum computing, especially given how early it is in its evolution. We appreciate NewScientist's interest and that of many other publications, both science-oriented and mainstream media. 

Susan Davis, D-Wave Marketing