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BC’s D-Wave upgrades 2000Q to increase quantum computing power

New features enhance performance up to 150 times, give users increased control.


November 13, 2017
by PLANT STAFF

The 2000Q system in the laboratory. PHOTO: D-WAVE

BURNABY, BC — D-Wave Systems Inc. has improved the performance of its 2000Q quantum computer with two powerful new capabilities.

The Burnaby, BC quantum computing systems and software innovator has upgraded the 2000Q with reverse annealing and virtual graphs. The company said these features give users increased control of the quantum processing unit.

“The combination of larger, more powerful quantum processors, enhanced user control over the quantum computation, and a growing list of software tools are all critical to advancing quantum computing. D-Wave is doing pioneering work in all of these areas,” said Earl Joseph, CEO of Hyperion Research, a high-performance computing research firm in St. Paul, Minn.

Reverse annealing lets users program the system by harnessing powerful heuristic search algorithms for optimization and machine learning, and applications such as cybersecurity, and drug discovery. Users specify a problem with a predicted solution to narrow the search space for the computation. The predicted solution may be a result of a previous quantum or classical computation, or an educated guess. D-Wave researchers using reverse annealing observed a 150 times speedup over the current D-Wave 2000Q system.

Many optimization and machine learning algorithms are commonly described as graph problems such as analyzing the flow of traffic between cities or the transmission of information between neurons in an artificial neural network.

Virtual graphs improve accuracy by allowing control over the interaction of groups of qubits, to model a node or link in a complex graph. D-Wave said this new feature has improved success rates by five times for common hard optimization problems and machine learning models over earlier 2000Q systems

The new feature lets users work with probability distributions that are more complex than those available with the current D-Wave 2000Q system.

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