With cutting-edge technology, sometimes the first step scientists face is just making sure it actually works as intended.
The USC Viterbi School of Engineering is home to the USC-Lockheed Martin Quantum Computing Center (QCC), a super-cooled, magnetically shielded facility specially built to house the first commercially available quantum computing processors -- devices so advanced that there are only two in use outside the Canadian lab where they were built: The first one went to USC and Lockheed Martin, and the second to NASA and Google.
Since USC's facility opened in October 2011, a key task for researchers has been to determine whether D-Wave processors operate as hoped -- using the special laws of quantum mechanics to offer potentially higher-speed processing, instead of operating in a classical, traditional way.
An international collaboration of scientists has now published several papers rejecting classical models of the first-generation D-Wave One processor housed at USC, including one on an elaborate test of all 108 of the chip's functional quantum bits ("qubits"). The test demonstrates that the D-Wave One behaved in a way that agrees with a model called "quantum Monte Carlo," yet disagreed with two candidate classical models that could have described the processor in the absence of quantum effects.
The research was published on Feb. 28 by Nature Physics.To read more, click here.