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The world’s first commercial quantum computer, made by the Canadian company D-Wave Systems Inc., performed no better than a classical computer in a recent analysis.
Quantum computers are thought to be able to solve complex problems thousands of times faster than classical computers, and scientists have been working on developing them for more than a decade. These devices could be useful for modeling quantum mechanics — the realm of physics that describes how matter at the sub-microscopic scale can exist as both a particle and a wave — or for cracking encrypted online information.
A team of researchers compared the performance of a D-Wave Two device to that of a classical computer on a specific set of problems, and failed to find evidence that the quantum computer was faster. [10 Technologies That Will Transform Your Life]
“We do not see any evidence of quantum speedup in the D-Wave device,” said Matthias Troyer, a theoretical physicist at ETH Zurich, in Switzerland, and co-author of the study, detailed today (June 19) in the journal Science.