Saturday, February 10, 2007

Quantum Computer 'Orion'

I didn't realise that quantum computing was so close to being realised, but according to Dr Dobb's Journal it's going commercial now. If true, that's seriously amazing! Lots of applications in AI and reasoning are bounded by the intractability of the algorithms. D-Wave's Orion computer can solve NP-complete problems quickly (the article only says "in record time"). Clearly super-cooled quantum devices won't be fitted to desktop pc's any time soon, and anyway the current device takes time to be configured. Nevertheless, given the rate at which hardware progresses, software researchers need to start thinking now about what we're going to do as all that computational power - a paradigm changer for sure - comes on stream. Hmm.

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