Is the quantum future already here and now?
This article tells us D-Wave started to produce and sell quantum computers in 2011. First, it was a 128-qubit quantum computer, then a 512-qubit one and so on. Up to a 2000-qubit quantum computer! Moreover, the main developer of DapCash project Dmitry Gerasimov repeatedly received proposals to develop software for D-Wave computers. Software for breaking the blockchain and other systems that use modern encryption.
Has Quantum Apocalypse already came, but we missed it? This is where we need to clarify some things.
What can and can’t D-Wave computers do?
The quantum computer developed by D-Wave, strictly speaking, can’t be called “quantum”. This so-called adiabatic computer is a classic computer that uses some quantum effects. D-Wave computers can solve only a very narrow range of optimization problems.
For example, there is such a problem widely known in the economy — cost optimization. You have a lot of parameters, a lot of goals that you need to achieve at the same time. Thus, you need to visit a million customers in different places and at the same time. So, you need to optimize the road, costs, time and so on. This is a classical problem, the so-called “traveling salesman problem”. On conventional computers, it is very difficult to solve. The computer needs to sort out many, many different options. It may take thousands of years. However, the D-Wave copes with it in seconds.
But an adiabatic computer is not designed for other tasks. So, its application is extremely limited.
In fact, the adiabatic computer is a step in the evolution of a classical computer with a very non-standard architecture. In the framework of this architecture, it applies only some quantum effects. Thus, the adiabatic computer doesn’t use the effect of superposition. This is not a “universal” quantum computer that can be used to factorize numbers, to hack encryption systems, etc.
A universal quantum computer is limited to 72 qubits so far. In March 2018, Google reported testing of a laboratory sample of such a computer.