Reply to post: Re: D-Wave processors are like GPUs

D-Wave: 'Whether or not it's quantum, it's faster'

Paul Shirley

Re: D-Wave processors are like GPUs

We largely abandoned analogue computers because of noise problems, which limits accuracy AND slows them down as a side effect, plus we've thrown more research at miniaturising digital components which increases speed.

The quantum effects in annealing make it converge faster than a classical annealer. It's possible D-Wave made the reasonable assumption that miniaturising their device would increase speed, supercooling would improve noise and quantum annealing would be massively faster on top, making for a very fast device. What probably happened is, it's inherently a slow analogue computer, miniaturising made noise much worse, quantum effects are either being drowned in that noise OR prevented by it and the actual speedup is much lower than predicted. Result: an accelerated slow device that's just about able to compete with much cheaper digital devices.

Their best hope is that it's not yet doing anything quantum accelerated. Looks very like a dead end, hobbled by noise. Noise tolerance is why digital can be pushed so hard and why quantum computing is so hard to implement.

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