back to article Alibaba fires up a cloudy quantum computer

Alibaba reckons the world needs another quantum computer in the cloud, so it's opened up access to an 11-qubit system. The system landed almost exactly a year after IBM announced its five-qubit quantum offering. In November last year, Big Blue embiggened the system to 20 qubits. So as well as being the second cloudy quantum …

  1. JeffyPoooh
    Pint

    Do they actually work? Seems unclear...

    El Reg noted, "...today's quantum computers' main application is as experimental platforms to verify that quantum, rather than classical, processes are at work."

    So, it is unclear.

    Crikey, bang out a benchmark test that's aligned to quantum computation, make a comparison to classical, and then tick YES or NO. Then go for lunch. Repeat the test in the afternoon.

  2. beep54
    Trollface

    Hum.

    "Microsoft hopes to play a part with its quantum API and Q# language." Perhaps they can get THIS one right. Well, one can only hope.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Joke

      Re: Hum.

      Embrace... Extend... Extend...Extend... Extend.... Extend... Extend... Extend.... etc...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hum.

        Surely Embrace....Extend...or somewhere in between?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hum.

        "[...] Extend... Extend... Extend.... etc..."

        ...Chop.

    2. JMcL

      Re: Hum.

      Quantum Clippy. Be afraid, be very afraid!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hum.

      As soon as they declare that Quantum Computing will never amount to anything, I'll be on board.

      In light of this, their current involvement is disheartening.

  3. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    IT Angle

    This "supperposition" thing sounds like the proverbial Non Deterministic Finite State Automaton

    made real.

    So compiling really complex languages (human languages) might be a thing.

    Maybe.*

    *Although well understood techniques exist to simulate an NDFSA.

  4. Alan J. Wylie

    Adiabatic

    adibiatic [sic] refers to preventing any thermal interaction between the system and the outside world

    That's not what Wikipedia thinks Adiabatic (with two "i"s) means.

    1. DropBear
      Trollface

      Re: Adiabatic

      Yup, the progress of science is a marvellous thing to behold - back when I was in school we only had "adiabatic" too...

      1. Alan J. Wylie

        Re: Adiabatic

        back when I was in school we only had "adiabatic" too

        Something to do with bicycle pumps, IIRC?

        1. Alan J. Wylie

          Re: Adiabatic

          Or was it Carnot Cycle pumps?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Adiabatic

          "Something to do with bicycle pumps, IIRC?"

          IIRC the terms were adiabatic expansion - and isothermal expansion. Too long ago to remember the precise definitions - and all the online ones need an icepack to read.

          Forcing compressed gas/liquid through a thin nozzle - it cools rapidly as it expands on escaping - the Venturi effect. Old fashioned carburettors can become blocked by ice due to this effect at above-freezing ambient temperatures.

          IIRC that is the process to make "freeze dried" instant coffee. Probably also the principle for the refrigerant in fridges and freezers - although that might also involve the latent heat of vaporisation? The latter is how canvas bags hung outside a vehicle will cool the water inside during a journey.

          The physics teacher would stand a beaker full of ether in a shallow amount of water in a dish. Air was then bubbled through the ether to cause it to evaporate. The beaker would then cool enough to freeze the water in the dish.

        3. Primus Secundus Tertius

          Re: Adiabatic

          And pee-vee to the gamma to you too.

          But who spelled it wrong to begin with? Was it D-Wave or was it el Reg?

  5. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Coat

    seeking a lowest-energy “ground state”

    For me that means sitting in the recliner in front of the telly, a whisky in hand, a cat sleeping in my lap and a bowl of munchies within reach.

    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: seeking a lowest-energy “ground state”

      Well for the cat anyway (although putting it down on the floor might help)

    2. FozzyBear
      Boffin

      Re: seeking a lowest-energy “ground state”

      Is the cat dead or alive? asleep or awake?

  6. mix
    Coat

    Errrrm...

    Is this the day where I stop understanding IT? It had to happen eventually.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Errrrm...

      Is this the day where I stop understanding IT? It had to happen eventually. ... mix

      What's to misunderstand and misunderestimate, mix, whenever ITs roles are so clearly defined and freely shared wwworldwide for Media and MMORPG to Present/Create/Virtually Realise with the Future in Command and Control of Centres of Excellence which Lead ..... and to Levels Far in Excess of Simple XSSXXXX.

      amanfromMars Mon, 03/05/2018 - 03:47 [1803050847].... airing a possibility on https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-03-04/anarchist-explains-how-hackers-could-cause-global-chaos

      There will be those who believe Barrett Brown is "turned" and now works for interests keen on maintaining the status quo for systems supporting Uncle Sams/Military Industrial Complexes/Federal Reserve Type Fiat Paper Money Machines .... and discovering the More Adept Opposition in ACTive Competition for Remote Command and Virtualised Control of both the Future and Hearts and Minds.

      Take care and beware out there in that Power .... IT is a Mined Mind Field ... and with AI, something else fundamentally different too.

      What are you currently using IT, and AI if you are able and/or enabled, for? Anything more than just interesting and entertaining?

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