D-Wave Systems Inc. has announced a new technological and scientific achievement wherein it has managed to break the 1000 qubit quantum computing barrier through a new processor about double the size of D-Wave’s previous generation and far exceeding the number of qubits ever developed by D-Wave or any other quantum effort.
The company says that this new breakthrough will enable its customers to solve more complex computational problems than was possible on any previous quantum computer.
D-Wave’s quantum computer runs a quantum annealing algorithm to find the lowest points, corresponding to optimal or near optimal solutions, in a virtual “energy landscape.” Every additional qubit doubles the search space of the processor. At 1000 qubits, the new processor considers 21000 possibilities simultaneously, a search space which dwarfs the 2512 possibilities available to the 512-qubit D-Wave Two. ?In fact, the new search space contains far more possibilities than there are ?particles in the observable universe.
D-Ware is the only manufacturer of scalable quantum processors and has broken new grounds with every succeeding generation of processor it develops. The new processors, comprising over 128,000 Josephson tunnel junctions, are believed to be the most complex superconductor integrated circuits ever successfully yielded. They are fabricated in part at D-Wave’s facilities in Palo Alto, CA and at Cypress Semiconductor’s wafer foundry located in Bloomington, Minnesota.
“Temperature, noise, and precision all play a profound role in how well quantum processors solve problems. Beyond scaling up the technology by doubling the number of qubits, we also achieved key technology advances prioritized around their impact on performance,” said Jeremy Hilton, D-Wave vice president, processor development. “We expect to release benchmarking data that demonstrate new levels of performance later this year.”
The 1000-qubit milestone is the result of intensive research and development by D-Wave and reflects a triumph over a variety of design challenges aimed at enhancing performance and boosting solution quality. Beyond the much larger number of qubits, other significant innovations include: lower operating temperature; reduced noise; increased control circuitry precision; advanced fabrication; and new modes of use.
“Breaking the 1000 qubit barrier marks the culmination of years of research and development by our scientists, engineers and manufacturing team,” said D-Wave CEO Vern Brownell. “It is a critical step toward bringing the promise of quantum computing to bear on some of the most challenging technical, commercial, scientific, and national defense problems that organizations face.”