D-Wave and predecessors: From simulated to quantum annealing

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On May 2011, D-Wave Systems Inc. announced "D-Wave One", as "the world's first commercially available quantum computer". No wonder this adiabatic quantum computer based on 128-qubit chip-set provoked an immediate controversy. Over the last 40 years, quantum computation has been a very promising yet challenging research area, facing major difficulties producing a large scale quantum computer. Today, after Google has purchased "D-Wave Two" containing 512 qubits, criticism has only increased. In this work, we examine the theory underlying the D-Wave, seeking to shed some light on this intriguing quantum computer. Starting from classical algorithms such as Metropolis algorithm, genetic algorithm (GA), hill climbing and simulated annealing, we continue to adiabatic computation and quantum annealing towards better understanding of the D-Wave mechanism. Finally, we outline some applications within the fields of information and image processing. In addition, we suggest a few related theoretical ideas and hypotheses.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1430002
JournalInternational Journal of Quantum Information
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work has been supported in part by the Israel Science Foundation Grant No. 1125/10.


  • D-Wave
  • Simulated annealing
  • adiabatic computation
  • quantum annealing
  • quantum computers


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