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D-Wave Systems previews 2000-Qubit Quantum ‘supercomputer’


D-Wave Systems Inc., Burnaby BC, has released details of its most advanced quantum computing system, featuring a new 2000-qubit processor, doubling the number of qubits over the previous generation D-Wave 2X system. The move up enables larger problems to be solved and extending D-Wave’s significant lead over all quantum computing competitors.

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The new system also introduces control features that allow users to tune the quantum computational process to solve problems faster and find more diverse solutions when they exist. In early tests these new features have yielded performance improvements of up to 1000 times over the D-Wave 2X system.

D-Wave’s quantum system runs a quantum annealing algorithm to find the lowest points in a virtual energy landscape representing a computational problem to be solved.  The lowest points in the landscape correspond to optimal or near-optimal solutions to the problem. The increase in qubit count enables larger and more difficult problems to be solved. The new control features enable the system to find the lowest points more efficiently, and include:

* The ability to tune the rate of annealing of individual qubits to enhance application performance;

* The ability to sample the state of the quantum computer during the quantum annealing process to power hybrid quantum-classical machine learning algorithms that were not possible before;

* The ability to combine quantum processing with classical processing to improve the quality of both optimization and sampling results returned from the system.

“As the only company to have developed and commercialized a scalable quantum computer, we’re continuing our record of rapid increases in the power of our systems, now up to 2000 qubits.  Our growing user base provides real world experience that helps us design features and capabilities that provide quantifiable benefits,” said Jeremy Hilton, senior vice president, Systems at D-Wave. “A good example of this is giving users the ability to tune the quantum algorithm to improve application performance.”

“Our focus is on delivering quantum technology for customers in the real world,” says Vern Brownell, D-Wave’s CEO. “As we scale our processors, we’re adding features and capabilities that give users new ways to solve problems. These new features can enable machine learning applications that we believe are not available on classical systems. We are also developing software tools and training the first generation of quantum programmers, which will push forward the development of practical commercial applications for quantum systems.”