# The Largest-Ever Quantum Calculation Uses 84 Qubits and Takes Just 270 Milliseconds

Quantum Computer Courtesy D-WaveThe answer was 8 Vancouver-based quantum computer maker D-Wave Systems is the kind of company that often gets mixed reviews--either kudos for working on the very edge of a new and potentially groundbreaking technology, or dismissal for not exactly delivering the kind of Earth-shattering technology that people were perhaps expecting. Regardless, today D-Wave is marking one in the win column after announcing that it has achieved the world's largest quantum computation using 84 qubits. A quick quantum computing primer: qubits, or quantum bits, are the basic units of quantum information, comparable to (but quite different from) a classical bit. The main benefit of qubits is that they can exploit the laws of quantum mechanics to exist in two states simultaneously. In comparison to classical computing, that means a single superconducting qubit can exist as both a "one" and a "zero" at the same time, whereas a classical bit...