Extreme Computer Engineering at D-Wave Systems

Close-up view of D-Wave’s quantum computer chip. Image courtesy of D-Wave Systems Inc. It’s not often that you hear the phrase “superconducting integrated circuits” dropped casually in conversation, but Jeremy Hilton, vice president of Processor Development at D-Wave Systems Inc. manages to make it sound almost commonplace. The super-cooled, zero-resistance electrical circuits are his stock in trade.D-Wave is at the cutting edge of computer technology, producing computers that run on the principles of quantum mechanics. In D-Wave’s machines, which reportedly cost more than $10 million a piece (D-Wave doesn’t disclose pricing details), each quantum bit, or qubit, can register as both a zero and a one at the same time. This potentially allows for exponentially faster calculations than conventional computers. For now, D-Wave’s machines are used for specialized artificial intelligence…

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