Quantum computing is a promising approach to problem-solving and computation. While the technology is still in its nascent stages, companies across the world are pushing for technological advancements that will render quantum computers useful for near-term practical use cases.
Canadian quantum computing firm D-Wave is one of the frontrunners in this charge. Today, at its annual conference, Qubits, D-Wave unveiled a host of new updates to its existing commercial offerings. These include upgrades to its 5000-qubit quantum system Advantage, a new hybrid solver in the company’s Leap quantum cloud service, and a preview of its next-generation quantum computing platform that will include both annealing and gate-model quantum computers.
To begin with, the firm announced that its signature quantum system, Advantage, will receive a performance upgrade that will allow its customers to solve larger and more complex problems with greater precision. Advantage, the company's 5000-qubit system with 15-way connectivity debuted for public usage last year in September. When it was first unveiled, Advantage was the most connected commercial quantum system in the world. Compared to its predecessor, the D-Wave 2000Q system, the increased qubit count and denser connectedness allowed faster computations for complex problems. Today's announcement doubles down on this and D-Wave claims that the new performance improvements will lead to as much as 70% improved results in certain scenarios.
D-Wave also hinted at the next generation of the Advantage. Dubbed Advantage 2, the quantum system will have over 7,000 qubits and boast 20-way connectivity. These advancements will be realized using the latest improvements in quantum coherence in a multi-layer fabrication stack. The greater qubit-count and connectedness promise performance gains in complex problems. And the quantum system is slated to launch sometime in 2023-2024.
Moving on, the firm also highlighted its new quantum hybrid solver as a part of its Leap quantum cloud service. The Constrained Quadratic Model (CQM) solver will incorporate problem constraints into the solver, allowing users to benefit from a simplified expression of their constrained problems. This will significantly expand the breadth and size of problems customers can solve with constraints, allowing enterprises to formulate larger problems that run across classical and quantum systems and find the best answers to practical business problems.
Developments to Leap quantum cloud service will be complemented by the company's expansion in gate-model quantum computing. D-Wave will be working towards a new initiative under which it will be developing the industry’s first scalable and practical error-corrected gate-model computing system. This should be a big step towards the large-scale and practical implementation of existing quantum algorithms that run faster than their classical counterparts.
These developments will continue hand in hand with the company's development of quantum annealers. Quantum annealing is an approach to problem-solving that maps solutions to a given problem to the energy states of a system. The firm will be looking to optimize classical overheads and inefficiencies that exist in current implementations of quantum annealing. The hope is that doing so will accelerate performance and find better solutions to complex optimization problems.
All these initiatives come under the umbrella of Clarity, which is D-Wave's roadmap detailing the milestones the company plans to achieve in the next five years and beyond.
“Customers want to be able to solve their hard problems using quantum computers. The delivery of a new Advantage performance update and quantum hybrid solver demonstrates our relentless focus on ongoing, on-time product delivery. And, we’ve taken what we’ve learned and built over the past 20 years and developed a quantum platform roadmap that will further the benefits of annealing quantum computing for optimization problems, while accelerating our ability to expand into other problem classes,” said Alan Baratz, who is the CEO of D-Wave. “Clarity is what our customers have been asking for. Our full-stack approach to quantum technology, everything from chip fabrication to system development, and from hybrid software solvers to robust open-source developer tools, means that we’re the only company in the world that can both deliver on regular product innovations and bring a cross-platform stack to market quickly. That’s practical.”