There are number of threads on this site about the ability of QCs solving real-world problems (see for example What are the practical applications of quantum computing in engineering by the year 2030?, Is quantum computing just pie in the sky? and What kind of real-world problems (excluding cryptography) can be solved efficiently by a quantum algorithm?. Reading through the answers and comments I note that QCs are not quite there yet and it will take one or two more decades to get there. Also, with specific reference to D-wave’s quantum annealing technology, there is a very good recent thread: Did D-Wave show quantum advantage in 2023?. A thorough and leading answer argues that even computers based on quantum annealing cannot presently solve real-world problems and it concludes verbatim “…so quantum annealers remain as a specialized resource in a very small number of HPC centers, where they can be used by academics to play.”

Looking at D-wave website, on the other hand, one immediately realizes that they are a very “business-centric” company, with customers in logistics, portfolio optimization, drug discovery, materials sciences, scheduling, fault detection, traffic congestion, etc. Since D-Wave is a publically traded company, it is natural to assume that the stakeholders put a strong revenue stream and profitability ahead of pure academic play. Their customers include reputable companies and they outline a number of business success stories on their site. In fact, last night their CEO Alan Baratz was on Bloomberg Technology (see 24:27 minutes into the video) , promoting D-wave’s capabilities for real-world business.

So the question on my mind: Is D-Wave presently really solving problems for customers that they (the customers) themselves could otherwise not solve with conventional computers?



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