Today at the company's signature annual conference, Qubits, D-Wave unveiled its roadmap for making quantum computers commercially practical and viable in the years to come. Dubbed Clarity, the roadmap will be guiding the Canadian firm's developmental and research efforts in four key areas: quantum annealing, gate-model quantum computers, hybrid solvers, and cross-platform open-source tools for quantum computing.
A 7000-qubit system with 20-way connectivity
Currently, D-Wave's signature quantum computer is the Advantage. It has 5,000 qubits and 15-qubit connectivity. Higher connectivity and qubit count lead to better performance and enable solutions to complex problems. D-Wave wants to build on this. Come 2023-2024, D-Wave plans to introduce the successor to this quantum system. Advantage 2 will rock over 7,000 qubits and 20-qubit connectivity using a novel qubit design methodology.
Practical gate-model quantum computers
The firm also announced that it will be expanding into the gate-model quantum computing domain. Unlike quantum annealing and variational quantum algorithms, gate-model quantum computers use quantum gates as the sole and primary means of implementing a quantum algorithm. Unfortunately, hardware is a big bottleneck in this approach to quantum computing. Deep and expansive circuits lose coherence in their qubits and expensive error-correction mechanisms to detect and revert qubit errors are needed. Of course, this carries performance overhead and reduces the overall efficiency of the entire pipeline.
To further research in this area, D-Wave will be spreading out its efforts into five phases. Initial phases will mostly include prototyping of scalable hardware solutions for the gate-model and improving error-correction methods. On-chip control devices for managing qubits and the operations on them will be the first step followed by a demonstration of this system in a 60-qubit system. The next milestone will be the development of a 1000-qubit system that will be fabricated on a single die and have up to four error-corrected logical qubits. These efforts will lead to the introduction of a standalone, modular quantum processing unit (QPU), complete with memory, logic registers, shift registers, and state initialization tools. Such QPUs will be tailored to accelerate practical uses of quantum computing in the industry.
Powerful hybrid solutions
Most near-term applications of quantum computers today use a setup that consists of both a quantum part and a classical part. This hybrid setup combines the power of quantum computing with classical computing, delegating parts of computation that can be performed efficiently on each mode of computation. It is a promising approach, and D-Wave plans to build upon its existing offerings in this domain too. In the next couple of years, the company plans to introduce new hybrid solvers that will increase the types of problems quantum computers can solve, including mixed-integer problems. This will help solve problems in drug trial optimization, logistics, scheduling, stock market optimization and trading, chemical process optimization, and more. By 2024, D-Wave plans to combine its quantum annealers and gate-model computers in one cross-platform solver service.
Leap, open-source, and developer-friendly resources
Leap, which is D-Wave's cloud quantum computing service will be expanded and improved in the coming years. Some of the features planned for next year include simplified customer benchmarking, expanded in-region systems, and advanced administrative control within Leap. The following years will see the expansion of enterprise features and in-region systems to the Asia Pacific region. Over the next three years, the firm also plans to introduce a slew of cross-platform tools that will help educate developers on using different quantum systems and environments. Extensive documentation and code examples will be pushed out to help guide them.