The quantum computer was supposed to be a long way off. It was supposed to be confined to scribblings on a white board and hacked together non-functioning prototypes in university labs. Lockheed Martin seems to think their quantum computer is not only functional, but ready for sale.
This breakthrough tech was not developed by Lockheed in house, but by the 12-year old Vancouver company D-Wave. The Canadian company has been making lofty claims about it’s ability to produce quantum computers for years, including promising to have a device on the market with one year, and this was in 2007. Lockheed bought an early version of a quantum device from D-wave 2 years ago, and now feels like their tweaks and improvements have made it ready for commercial scaling and uses.
D-Wave (and by extension Lockheed) are not without critics though.The major complaint lobbied against the Canadian firm is that they have offered up no verifiable proof nor have they submitted any papers to scientific journals for rigorous peer review. Without proof, many feel that D-Wave is merely selling a bill of goods. While that is a logical stance, it is laughably doubtful that a major multinational like Lockheed Martin would continue with the ruse and attempt to sell the “tech” down the line. Lockheed clearly believes they have something ready for prime time, outside proof be damned.
Many other firms are engaged in the race to bring quantum computers to the market, including Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, and IBM. These firms are equally doubtful of D-Wave’s accomplishment, but given that the race to come out with the first quantum computer is such a heated one it makes a certain amount of sense for D-Wave and Lockheed to play their cards close to the vest. With no proof, or price, released just yet time will tell what Lockheed Martin’s new quantum computer is truly capable of.