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IBM has cloud access to quantum computer 400 times smaller than D-Wave system

Anonymous Coward

"about 40,000 users have run over 275,000 experiments on the Quantum Experience"

And has any of them demonstrated a result which couldn't have been done on a classical computer in a polynomial time factor faster or slower?

If so, we'd like to see the problem which was put in, and the solution the machine came up with.

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Mushroom

Re: "about 40,000 users have run over 275,000 experiments on the Quantum Experience"

> And has any of them demonstrated a result which couldn't have been done on a classical computer in a polynomial time factor faster or slower?

No.

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Windows

I have a bad feeling about this

Why Quantum Computers Cannot Work by Gil Kalai, Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Yale University.

Basically the argument seems to be that the "steered quantum evolution" will be subject to noise in just the right way to not reveal Mother Nature's nonclassical cards, no matter what.

We will see.

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How does it work

The informative videos show feature snazzy marketing music, graphics, and an outstanding letter "Q" which appears around 1/4 of the way through.

Then we see amazing models working on ultra complex machinery. At this stage, there seems no point in asking whether someone can tell me how it works, what is a Q-bit, what is the input, what is the output, how is it parsed, who will be able to parse it...

I just ask myself: is it all a con or a delusion, as suggested by the 3rd video with the card sharp? Is it homeopathic computing? Or is it genuinely amazing new science? But if it is amazing new science, why never any explanation? And if it is too complicated to be explained to a reasonable man in the street who can see the sense of standard science when it is explained to them, is there a new generation of super-human geniuses out there who are and will be the only ones able to understand and operate these new, mysterious machines? In which case, I for one, welcome our new Quantum Computing overlords and their wonderful marketing videos.

And: I beg and challenge anybody out there to explain to me HOW IT WORKS.

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Re: How does it work

Get a bottle of fine wine, light a fire in the fireplace, let the missus cook a fine dinner and read Scott Aaronson's "Quantum Computing since Democritus" for a fine introduction. Also, look for the comic strip "The Talk" by the same guy.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How does it work

Some good questions there. Yes, by all means find a book on the subject and tuck in, or do what I do during the boring workday, read up on things in Wikipedia. It's great for general knowledge things like Quantum Computing, or nano tech, or just about anything. Be prepared for some high maths, but if you're like me, the maths are a bit beyond my knowledge, but the concepts all make sense, once you come to grips with the basis for the technology. Start small, then build up your knowledge. It's complicated, but not impossible.

You can start here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_computing

Then, I usually bring up linked items I'm unfamiliar with in extra tabs, until it starts to make sense.

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Re: How does it work

Alternately toss a coin and you have a 50% chance of being in the universe where you already read the book vs being the one who didn't

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How does it work

dammit, my coin landed on it's edge! arrrghgghghghg

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Silver badge

Re: How does it work

Sounds like you are in a high-magic surroundings.

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Pirate

Open Dilution Fridge

Is it just me, or does that "hardware" hanging down in that cage look suspiciously like weapons that some supervillians have tried to use to cut James Bond in half from the crotch up?

"No, Mr. Watson, I expect you to die."

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Terminator

Re: Open Dilution Fridge

The images look to me more like some scenes from the computer lab in the original Tron movie.

Mind that aperture!

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GBE

Promises, promises...

"Quantum computing has the promise of outperforming today's computers to an extraordinary degree at certain tasks such as factoring very large numbers."

Yep.

And controlled nuclear fusion has the promise of unlimited, low-cost, safe, clean energy.

As the old saying sort-of goes: "Promise into one hand, <something> into the other. See which hand gets full".

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IBM has always excelled in the research department. Cool stuff!

But, can we still call them Big Blue? Maybe they can use this to turn themselves around. I don't see this ever being used in our homes, but the "cloud" came along at the right time to make this relevant.

It's kind of sad that this will be used to make money off us (looking at you Google). Hopefully NASA can do better.

Science has gotten to the end of the usefulness of good old 'trial and error' maybe Q computing can get us out of this rut.

----

Let's see:

IBM = Big Blue

Google = Big Evil

Apple = Big Apple? (already taken...)

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Unhappy

This decade's (or this centuries) superconducting mainframe?

IBM pumped a fair of cash into these back in the day. Investing in Josephson Junction fab technologies, Looking at frozen Mercury to link the circuit boards together etc.

Regular ECL got faster.

Then CMOS got faster still and it was game over for superconducting computers.

I'm still having trouble with the scale of this thing. 2^40 is a big number, IE 1 terra states, but it's not a really big number.

So is that 1 terra states a sec? Or do only viable answers come out? Or what?

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Silver badge

Re: This decade's (or this centuries) superconducting mainframe?

Those just offered incremental improvements over the technology in a regular desktop of the time.

If (and it's a big IF) these work then even the toy scale ones described here wipe the floor with supercomputers (for a certain class of problems) so then a supercomputer scale quantum one will be "interesting"

At the moment they are like the first lab prototype hand made transistors compared to established tube/valve technology, but look where transistors went.

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Coat

But wait..

Does this mean it can and can't play Crysis at the same time; all on high settings?

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Re: But wait..

I've had a few computers like that in the past.

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WTF?

Umm...

"Even for simple molecules like caffeine, the number of quantum states in the molecule can be astoundingly large – so large that all the conventional computing memory and processing power scientists could ever build could not handle the problem... "

I know that quantum computing is a bit "odd", but this is amazing. It's solving "the problem" without actually telling us what "the problem" is.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Umm...

I think the problem is to simulate the behaviour of a caffeine atom.

Rather than all this tedious mucking about with Qubits, you might as well just measure the behaviour of a caffeine atom directly - using an atomic vector plotter suspended in a strong Brownian Motion producer (say a nice hot cup of tea).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Umm...

"say a nice hot cup of tea"

Damn! The only tea I have in the cupboard right now is decaf.

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Into The Big Blue Yonder

Future technologies lab In Switzerland is probably years ahead of Yorktown, just the Swiss know about privacy

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Re: Into The Big Blue Yonder

Yes but by publicizing it's research IBM undermines potential patents the Swiss lab might try to get in the future. Sometimes first to publish is better than first to invent.

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Anonymous Coward

The magic flute

The flute analogy got me thinking...

A resonant structure can have many harmonics simultaneously. So assign presence or absence of first harmonic as first bit, presence or absence of second harmonic as second bit, etc. Fart over the embouchure hole and you have a magic quantum comfluter.

Makes as much sense as quantum computers do.

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Facepalm

Schrödinger's coin?

dammit, my coin landed on it's edge! arrrghgghghghg

Wow, you seem to have discovered a Quantum Coin. Head and tails both at the same time.

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Pirate

Re: Schrödinger's coin?

"Head and tails both at the same time."

Careful, this is a family-friendly site...we'll have none of that AtM stuff here...

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Coat

Re: Schrödinger's coin?

Speaking of coins - if it is so good at crypto calculations could this pay for itself in currency mining over a short period? That will upset the Chinese!

(Mine's the one with the accidentally deleted wallet)

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Devil

Fact checking

I think you mean two things are potentially true - until you go and check

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