Remiss!!! Remiss!!!

I have been remiss in my blogging duties, I apologize, been a little busy lately…

OK first things first, I mentioned a while back that we were going to do a technology demo in Q4/2006. We have decided to push back the demo until sometime in Q1/2007. So stay tuned, we’re still going to announce the technology shortly. Once I know the date I’ll post it.

Everything is working beautifully by the way. In the almost 8 years since we started D-Wave I’ve only celebrated once (last week), when the whole system was working beginning to end. Quite a good feeling to see such a complicated thing come together like that.

For those of you who will want to use our machines, we’re converging on a programming environment that is alot more flexible and general than the one we’d originally developed as a proof of concept interface to the hardware. The new programming environment includes a declarative language that captures NP. In this framework, a programmer states what the solutions to their NP problems look like in first order logic, and our software compiles this “declaration” down to the machine language of our solver system. Declarative languages may be familiar to some of you (prolog) but don’t worry ours is easier to use, more flexible and works much better.

The big advantage of using a declarative programming language for our systems is that the actual mode of operation of these machines will be unfamiliar to most coders, and we’re trying to make interacting with them as easy and transparent as possible.

For example let’s say you want to code a biotech application (such as molecular geometric pattern matching) which requires the solution of a maximum clique problem. In order to use our machine to solve the clique part, instead of presenting a set of steps representative of some algorithm (in c or java for example), you just state what it means to be a maximum clique in first order logic. Then our software compiles that statement to the guts of the machine. Whenever you call that piece of code you get back the answer you need.

The idea is that you won’t need to know anything about how our systems work to use them–you just need to be able to state what properties the solution you’re looking for has.

4 thoughts on “Remiss!!! Remiss!!!

  1. WOOHOO! I am excited to hear about the continuing progress at D-Wave and the prospect of the presentation coming soon. I believe in a previous post you said you would be demonstrating the technology with either a 16 or 64 qubit chip. Can you tell us at this point which chip it will be? I think I speak for most of your readers when I say that I would prefer progress over blog posts any day. Glad to get an update!

  2. Thanks Chris!

    Short answer: We’re going to demo a 16 qubit (4×4 grid) superconducting AQC; each qubit is connected to nearest- and next-nearest neighbors using tunable couplers. The chip is programmed by setting the values of the biases on each qubit (16 total), and the values of each of the (42) couplers.

    The demo will focus on running two applications on the hardware. One is a planning/scheduling app and the other is a pattern match app for small molecules.

    I may post the longer answer at some point. :)

  3. What an awesome evolutionary step in computing. I assume your early customers will be universities and other research institutions, and that the model for users to get compute time is similar to users of today’s classical supercomputers. Will you also be releasing a simulator so that those who can’t get compute time can play around with your new language? Wiki has a good overview of the current proposed quantum programming languages. Is your language similar to any of these? Maybe not, because these languages all seem to be imperative or functional. I wasn’t sure exactly what a declarative programming language was — but again Wiki was a good overview. Any chance you’ll offer any free trial compute time on your QC? :) If not, I need to know which university will have a relationship with your company so I can enroll there as soon as possible he he :)

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