The Quantum Computer

  • Exploits quantum mechanical effects to provide an entirely new type of computational resource
  • Built around “qubits” rather than “bits”
  • Operates in an extreme environment
  • Enables quantum algorithms to solve very hard problems

Power and Cooling

  • “The Fridge” is a closed cycle dilution refrigerator
  • The superconducting processor generates no heat
  • Cooled to 180x colder than interstellar space (0.015 Kelvin)

A Unique Processor Environment

  • Shielded to 50,000× less than Earth’s magnetic field
  • In a high vacuum: pressure is 10 billion times lower than atmospheric pressure
  • 200 I/O and control lines from room temperature to the chip
  • The system consumes less than 25 kW of power
  • Power demand won’t increase with successive processor generations

Processing with D-Wave

  • A lattice of 2000 tiny superconducting devices, known as qubits, is chilled close to absolute zero to harness quantum effects
  • A user models a problem into a search for the “lowest energy point in a vast landscape”
  • The processor considers all possibilities simultaneously to determine the lowest energy and the values that produce it
  • Multiple solutions are returned to the user, scaled to show optimal answers