Canadian based D-Wave has announced on its blog that it has developed a new quantum computer for use by businesses. Called Advantage, the new system has 5,000 qubits and 15-way qubit connectivity. The new machine will be made available to business customers over the Internet via the Leap quantum cloud service.
Over the past several years, several companies have dedicated resources to the development of a true quantum computer that can tackle problems conventional computers cannot handle. Progress on developing such computers has been slow, however, especially when compared with the early development of the conventional computer. As part of the research effort, companies have taken different approaches. Google and IBM, for example, are working on gate-model quantum computer technology, in which qubits are modified as an algorithm is executed. D-Wave, in sharp contrast, has been focused on developing so-called annealer technology, in which qubits are cooled during execution of an algorithm, which allows for passively changing their value.
Comparing the two is next to impossible because of their functional differences. Thus, using 5,000 qubits in the Advantage system does not necessarily mean that it is any more useful than the 100-qubit systems currently being tested by IBM or Google. Still, the announcement suggests that businesses are ready to start taking advantage of the increased capabilities of quantum systems. D-Wave notes that several customers are already using their system for a wide range of applications. Menten AI, for example, has used the system to design new proteins; grocery chain Save-On-Foods has been using it to optimize business operations; Accenture has been using it to develop business applications; Volkswagen has used the system to develop a more efficient car painting system.
As part of its announcement, D-Wave noted that business customers will now have access to a new topology,
Quantum computing company D-Wave has doubled the scale of its cloud-based computing platform and said it is already solving real-world problems in minutes that would take traditional computers a whole day of number crunching.
D-Wave, through a service called Leap, grants developers access to a cloud-based quantum processor that can be used to test and trial applications in real-time.
In the previous iteration of Leap, the quantum processor was 2,000-qubits strong, with each qubit capable of connecting to six other qubits. D-Wave has more than doubled the performance of the technology: Advantage’s quantum processor – which is available through the Leap platform – boasts 5,000 qubits, and each qubit can connect to 15 others. In other words, programmers will have access to a much larger graph to build their quantum applications.
As part of Leap, developers can also use a feature called the hybrid solver service (HSS), which combines both quantum and classical resources to solve computational problems. This “best-of-both-worlds” approach, according to D-Wave, enables users to submit problems of ever-larger sizes and complexities.
Advantage comes with an improved HSS, which can run applications with up to one million variables – a jump from the previous generation of the technology, in which developers could only work with 10,000 variables.
“When we launched Leap last February, we thought that we were at the beginning of being able to support production-scale applications,” Alan Baratz, the CEO of D-Wave, told ZDNet. “For some applications, that was the case, but it was still at the small end of production-scale applications.”
“With the million variables on the new hybrid solver, we really are at the point where we are able to support a broader array of applications,” he continued.
A number of firms, in fact, have already come to D-Wave with a business problem, and
Size Matters: Advantage’s 5000+ qubit and 15-way qubit connectivity powers large-scale, in-production hybrid quantum applications
D-Wave Advantage System
Photo of the 5,000+ qubit D-Wave Advantage system
D-Wave Advantage Chip
Photo of The D-Wave Advantage chip holder and 5,000 qubit chip.
BURNABY, British Columbia, Sept. 29, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — D-Wave Systems Inc., the leader in quantum computing systems, software, and services, today announced the general availability of its next-generation quantum computing platform, incorporating new hardware, software, and tools to enable and accelerate the delivery of in-production quantum computing applications. Available today in the Leap™ quantum cloud service, the platform includes the Advantage™ quantum system, with more than 5000 qubits and 15-way qubit connectivity, in addition to an expanded hybrid solver service that can run problems with up to one million variables. The combination of the computing power of Advantage and the scale to address real-world problems with the hybrid solver service in Leap enables businesses to run performant, real-time, hybrid quantum applications for the first time.
As part of its commitment to enabling businesses to build in-production quantum applications, the company announced D-Wave Launch™, a jump-start program for businesses who want to get started building hybrid quantum applications today but may need additional support. Bringing together a team of applications experts and a robust partner community, the D-Wave Launch program provides support to help identify the best applications and to translate businesses’ problems into hybrid quantum applications. The extra support helps customers accelerate designing, building, and running their most important and complex applications, while delivering quantum acceleration and performance.
The company also announced a new hybrid solver. The discrete quadratic model (DQM) solver gives developers and businesses the ability to apply