D-Wave made a name for itself with its early annealing quantum computers and even though the company recently announced its efforts to also build a superconducting gate-model quantum computer, it’s not abandoning its quantum annealing technology. Case in point: the company today made the first prototype of its next-gen Advantage2 annealing quantum computer available in its cloud. This is not the full system, which will feature 7,000 qubits when it launches in 2023 or 2024, but a small 500+ qubit version that is meant to showcase the company’s new qubit design and its Zephyr topology (PDF) with 20-way inter-qubit connectivity.
“The Advantage2 prototype is designed to share what we’re learning and gain feedback from the community as we continue to build towards the full Advantage2 system,” said Emile Hoskinson, Director, Quantum Annealing Products, D-Wave. “Our current Advantage quantum computer was completely re-engineered from the ground up. With Advantage2, we’re pushing that envelope again – demonstrating that connectivity and reduction in noise will be a delivery vehicle for even greater performance once the full system is available. The Advantage2 prototype is an opportunity for us to share our excitement and give a sneak peek into the future for customers bringing quantum into their applications.”
Rendering of the new Zephyr topology with 20-way inter-qubit connectivity which powers the new small-scale D-Wave Advantage2™ prototype annealing quantum computer. Image Source: D-Wave Systems Inc.
Using the Zephyr topology, every qubit will be connected to 20 other qubits, up from 15 in its predecessor, the Pegasus family, which the current 5,000-qubit Advantage system uses.
By making this new Advantage2 prototype available, the company argues, developers can start testing all of the core functionalities of the full-scale model. D-Wave notes that its early benchmarking shows that the Advantage2 system features increased coherence and reduced qubit noise.
A cropped view of the Zephyr topology with one representative qubit (black dot) connected to orthogonal qubits by 16 internal couplers (green lines) and to similarly aligned qubits by two external couplers (blue lines) and two odd couplers (red lines).
The new prototype is now available through D-Wave’s Leap quantum cloud service, which also includes access to the original Advantage system, as well as D-Wave’s quantum hybrid solvers, including its new Constrained Quadratic Model solver.
For more than 20 years, D-Wave has been synonymous with quantum annealing. Its early bet on this technology allowed it to become the world’s first company to sell quantum computers, but that also somewhat limited the real-world problems its hardware could solve, given that quantum annealing works especially well for optimization problems like protein folding … Continue reading