Quantum Computing Reaches for True Power
by John Markoff, NY Times, Nov. 8, 2010
A reasonable article, almost free of hype. Mr. Markoff mentions the efforts of IBM, Yale, UCSB, Toshiba, and D-Wave to construct a large scale QC. There are other important research efforts that he fails to mention, but it’s an omission that is understandable, because there are quite a few of them.
Significantly, I.B.M. has reconstituted what had recently been a relatively low-level research effort in quantum computing. I.B.M. is responding to advances made in the past year at Yale University and the University of California, Santa Barbara,
The company has assembled a large research group at its Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., that includes alumni from the Santa Barbara and Yale laboratories and has now begun a five-year research project.
The Santa Barbara researchers said they believe they will essentially double the computational power of their quantum computers next year.
John Martinis, a physicist who is a member of the team, said, “We are currently designing a device with four qubits, and five resonators,” the standard microelectronic components that are used to force quantum entanglement. “If all goes well, we hope to increase this to eight qubits and nine resonators in a year or so.”
Hartmut Neven, an artificial-intelligence researcher at Google, said the company had received a proposal from D-Wave and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to develop a quantum computing facility for Google next year based on the D-Wave technology.
On the whole, pretty good news. Looks like the QC race is heating up. The reinvigoration of IBM might be a bellwether. At least, I hope so. Big, bureaucratic IBM is not known for being the first one to arrive at parties. Big Blue usually arrives when the party is almost over.