New supercomputer to be unveiled

February 12, 2007

A Canadian firm is claiming to have taken a quantum leap in technology by producing a computer that can perform 64,000 calculations at once.

D-Wave Systems, Inc., based near Vancouver, says it will unveil its new quantum supercomputer Tuesday, ABC News reports.

Though most engineers thought quantum computers were decades away, D-Wave says the digital "bits" that race through the circuits of its computer are able to stand for 0 or 1 at the same time, allowing the machine to eventually do work that is far more than complex than that of digital computers.

"There are certain classes of problems that can't be solved with digital computers," says Herb Martin, D-Wave's chief executive officer. "Digital computers are good at running programs; quantum computers are good at handling massive sets of variables."

Don't expect to see quantum computers in your local stores anytime soon.

Martin says the prototype is as big as a good-size freezer and a lot colder.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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