T Nation

Quantum Leap

Computer to ‘make Computer History’

Feb. 12, 2007- “Quantum Computing.” It’s one of those things that bring a sparkle to the eyes of propellerheads - and make the rest of us just scratch our heads.

But it’s been a holy grail in the arcane world of supercomputers - and a Canadian firm claims it will be unveiling one on Tuesday. Nevermind that most engineers thought quantum computers were decades away.

D-Wave Systems, Inc., based near Vancouver, is the company that’s been working on the project. Its machine is described as a computer that can perform 64,000 calculations at once.

Following the odd laws of quantum mechanics, the digital “bits” that race through its circuits will be able to stand for 0 or 1 at the same time, allowing the machine, eventually, to do work that is orders of magnitude more complex than what today’s computers can do.

“There are certain classes of problems that can’t be solved with digital computers,” said Herb Martin, the firm’s CEO, over a decidedly-noisy digital cell phone. “Digital computers are good at running programs; quantum computers are good at handling massive sets of variables.”

Oh no Al, I’ve gone too far!