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back to article D-Wave wooing universities down under

While controversy continues over the nature of its machines, quantum computing company D-Wave is wearing out the shoe-leather talking to academic users – and The Register. In Australia to present to universities and the HPC community at large about D-Wave, the company's director of business development and strategic partnerships …

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"Williams said the D-Wave chips' behaviour can be explained with quantum mechanical models;"

I smell cop-out. Now, if he had said "...can ONLY be explained..." that'd be another matter.

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Annealing vs Quantum

Disclaimer: I used to know a bit about optimization, but I'm certainly no expert in quantum computing ...

Hasn't simulated annealing been an effective approach to non-linear optimization problems such as the TSP for decades? A true quantum computer, as I understand it, would be able to deliver *the* optimum TSP solution, as every single solution is represented in the quantum superposition of states and only the best solution 'survives' to become the answer.

I'd like to see the output of several brute force TSP solutions (I believe the record is about 85.9k cities - pdf - so a bunch of 10k tests is within the realms of possibility) compared to the D-Wave output for the same. If the D-Wave machine just produces very good results, rather than the actual best results, isn't it just annealing in hardware?

Or am I talking out of my hat?

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It's not a cat

Some say it is a quantum computer, and some say it's not. D-wave won't let any one look inside the box to say for sure, probably for good reason.

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