This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site you agree to our use of cookies. To find out more, see our Privacy and Cookies policy.
Skip to the content

Share this

Free weekly newswire

Sign up to receive all our latest news direct to your inbox.

Physics on film

100 Second Science Your scientific questions answered simply by specialists in less than 100 seconds.

Watch now

Bright Recruits

At all stages of your career – whether you're an undergraduate, graduate, researcher or industry professional – brightrecruits.com can help find the job for you.

Find your perfect job

Physics connect

Are you looking for a supplier? Physics Connect lists thousands of scientific companies, businesses, non-profit organizations, institutions and experts worldwide.

Start your search today

Blog

Inside the box at D-Wave

Geordie Rose

By Hamish Johnston, reporting from Vancouver, Canada

Yesterday I took a cab out to nearby Burnaby to have a chat with Geordie Rose, a physicist who is co-founder of the quantum-computer maker D-Wave systems. That’s Geordie on the right standing next to one of the firm’s famous black boxes.

What’s inside the box? I had a look. The box itself is a shield that protects its contents from electromagnetic fields that would wreak havoc with D-Wave’s quantum bits (qubits) – which are superconducting flux qubits. In simple terms, each qubit is a little magnet that could easily be perturbed by stray fields.

Also in the box is a dilution refrigerator, which cools the chips to near absolute zero. D-Wave uses “dry” fridges that don’t need to be topped up with costly liquid helium. Indeed, Rose says that the firm has played an important role in the development of dry fridges.

The fridge cools an integrated circuit that contains hundreds of flux qubits. They are arranged in a 2D array where each is coupled with its nearest neighbour, creating an Ising model on a chip.

I also stopped by to chat to D-Wave’s Suzanne Gildert (below), who is developing the firm’s Developer Portal, where programmers can learn about how to write code for the systems. The portal is in a beta version at the moment but a full-blown portal will soon be available to all.

Suzanne Gildert

Coming away from D-Wave, you can’t help thinking that the company has cracked the challenge of creating a viable and scalable quantum computer. Indeed, you can even buy one, if you want. But Rose admits there are lots of challenges ahead before quantum computing goes mainstream – and he thinks the best way forward is to keep building and keep improving the systems.

You can see more photos from my visit on out Flickr page.

This entry was posted in AAAS Annual Meeting 2012. Bookmark the permalink.
View all posts by this author  | View this author's profile

One comment to Inside the box at D-Wave

  1. CopenhagenNotMW

    D-Wave Systems and MIT…

    D-Wave named to MIT Technology Review’s 2014 List of the 50 Smartest Companies-
    http://www.technologyreview.com/featuredstory/524671/50-smartest-companies-2014/

    D-Wave is giving a Closing Keynote at the 2014 MIT Sloan Tech Conference -
    http://disruptinglife.mitsloantech.com/

Leave a comment

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Guidelines

  • Comments should be relevant to the article and not be used to promote your own work, products or services.
  • Please keep your comments brief (we recommend a maximum of 250 words).
  • We reserve the right to remove excessively long, inappropriate or offensive entries.

Show/hide formatting guidelines

Tag Description Example Output
<a> Hyperlink <a href="http://www.google.com">google</a> google
<abbr> Abbreviation <abbr title="World Health Organisation" >WHO</abbr> WHO
<acronym> Acronym <acronym title="as soon as possible">ASAP</acronym> ASAP
<b> Bold <b>Some text</b> Some text
<blockquote> Quoted from another source <blockquote cite="http://iop.org/">IOP</blockquote>
IOP
<cite> Cite <cite>Diagram 1</cite> Diagram 1
<del> Deleted text From this line<del datetime="2012-12-17"> this text was deleted</del> From this line this text was deleted
<em> Emphasized text In this line<em> this text was emphasised</em> In this line this text was emphasised
<i> Italic <i>Some text</i> Some text
<q> Quotation WWF goal is to build a future <q cite="http://www.worldwildlife.org/who/index.html">
where people live in harmony with nature and animals</q>
WWF goal is to build a future
where people live in harmony with nature and animals
<strike> Strike text <strike>Some text</strike> Some text
<strong> Stronger emphasis of text <strong>Some text</strong> Some text
WordPress Appliance - Powered by TurnKey Linux