Lockheed Martin communications manager Thad Madden said that the company spent a year reviewing the computer, called the D-Wave One, before purchasing it. The company plans to use the computer to build “cyber-physical systems,” which integrate software with environmental sensors.
The announcement comes just a few weeks after D-Wave researchers published a paper in Nature describing how D-Wave’s devices work, using a process called quantum annealing. The paper demonstrated quantum behavior in a system with eight qubits made from superconducting loops, by showing that (classical) thermal fluctuations could not be responsible for flipping the qubits’ spins.
D-Wave One uses 16 of these eight-qubit cells in its 128-qubit chip. However, due to the complexity of the 128-qubit chip, some experts in the quantum computing field are still not fully convinced that D-Wave’s commercial system works with quantum effects.