Quantum computers have shown a new way to compute old problems. D-Wave has a quantum annealer, and Wikipedia describes the D-Wave quantum computer and its use of quantum annealing properties. Hardware wise, how does D-Wave achieve quantum annealing?

There may be many ways to achieve quantum annealing. D-Wave, being first on the market with quantum annealing hardware, therefore is open to more scrutiny (is their hardware open to such scrutiny?) Does D-Wave use a specific type of annealing at the atomic level (there could be one of many ways to achieve quantum annealing), or (in other words) are there many ways to achieve quantum annealing?

  • $\begingroup$ You should ask "What type of ways are there to achieve quantum annealing ?" as a separate question. Avoid making questions "too broad". I've made some edits/changes accordingly. $\endgroup$ – Sanchayan Dutta Mar 29 '18 at 5:44
  • $\begingroup$ Related: quantumcomputing.stackexchange.com/questions/171/… $\endgroup$ – Sanchayan Dutta Mar 29 '18 at 5:46
  • $\begingroup$ Question is very specific, D wave was first, with hardware, so most open to scrutiny of hardware, what is "too broad" about types of annealing usable in Quantum Computing, What D wave uses is proprietary, and in inquiry, what other types of annealing are possible, open to any company Dwave, IBM, Microsoft, etc, $\endgroup$ – user3483902 Mar 29 '18 at 5:48
  • $\begingroup$ Your original question wasn't specific at all. Were you asking "What methods of quantum annealing exist?" OR were you asking "How does D-Wave achieve quantum annealing?". Reading the body of your post it seems you're more interested in how D-Wave implements quantum annealing in its quantum computers, so I edited the title of your post to reflect that (so that you get better and more "focused" answers). $\endgroup$ – Sanchayan Dutta Mar 29 '18 at 5:51
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    $\begingroup$ Okay, then you should click "Edit" and add that in your post. Otherwise the question is not clear. $\endgroup$ – Sanchayan Dutta Mar 29 '18 at 6:20

Quantum annealing as defined by Chakrabarti 1981 and later implemented by Kadowaki and Nishimori 1998 uses a varying transverse magnetic field to facilitate tunneling through the energy landscape of an optimization problem.

The system is prepared in the ground state of a Hamiltonian and then the transverse field is applied and slowly reduced (adiabatically) while the problem Hamiltonian is simultaneously 'turned on'. If this is done correctly, the system will remain in the ground state throughout the process and you'll have turned off the initial Hamiltonian and turned on the problem Hamiltonian with the system in the ground state (solution).

The temperature of the machine does not change (which is a common misconception), only the transverse magnetic field does.


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