Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Quantum Computer Isn’t for Graphic Design?

D-Wave-System-with-Visible-512-Qubit-ChipDon’t know if you guys have been following the news about the Quantum Computer being developed by Google and NASA. What it does is computer big numbers in a way that might be contrary to literal computer logic – while most computers handle information as either “One’s” or “Zero’s” this machine is able to work on calculations by dealing with information that’s either “One’s” AND “Zero’s”

If you know anything about quantum physics and advanced computer calculations than you know this is a big deal. This machine can handle calculations that are beyond the imagination of any average computer user today. It’s the equivalent of someone living in the 1940’s or 1950’s knowing it would be impossible for people to ever own the various types of computers we have today. It could be the next step in our computing evolution.

One of the bits of news I’ve read over the long weekend is that a company called “D-Wave” is manufacturing and selling them on behalf of the Quantum Computer’s developers. They have an ad that reads “yes, you can have one” and I thought to myself… what if I actually did get one built in my basement or right here in my office?

If you’re just another computer guy like me, you’re thinking what could you do with a computer like that? What are the possibilities? How many of us digital artists have wondered about how much more we could accomplish with our own render-server farms or a computer that could calculate numbers fast enough or more efficiently so we wouldn’t have to wait so long to see what we were doing from one change to the next.

Looking at this computer, I wondered about its operating system. What if it could run Windows 7 and/or Apple OS so I could install the Adobe Creative Suite on it? What more could I do? How much better would it work than what any of us have now? I’m not just talking about working faster; I’m talking about doing things that are almost impossible now.

Everyone knows that computer art isn’t just “Black And White” – it could actually benefit from a unit that deals with “Ones” and “Zero’s” together in tandem rather than either-or.

(Continued Below The Ad…)


So, when I saw that you could actually buy these unite I sent the sales team at D-Wave a question.

Subject: D-Wave Computer for Digital Art and Graphic Design

I won't take too much of your time but I have to ask this because I'm a graphic designer and digital artist always trying to keep my eye open for the next big thing...

How much would one of your computers cost and install, and could this computer be used to create works of art? Could this be used to run something like Adobe Creative Suite like Photoshop, Illustrator and so on? 

Thanks in advance.

The reply;

Hello Eric,
No, our system is not designed for this nor can it support any of those products.


Susan Davis
D-Wave Systems


I’ll let it go at that, but I have to wonder; why not? Has anyone else in the D-Wave offices thought of this? Using this system to help generate images? I’m sure that in the not too distant future someone will be asking – how can we visualize what we’re computing here? If we’re calculating the formulas that represent the formations of planetary systems or even whole galaxies don’t we want to be able to show what that might look like?

What would it take to create an OS for this quantum computer to create visual art using the tools I mentioned, or a tool that could be developed right now?

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