D-Wave Systems launches quantum computing in the US

Industry veteran Bo Ewald will lead the Burnaby, BC company’s new American operations.

Bo Ewald head up global customer operations as the company’s chief revenue officer.

BURNABY, BC — D-Wave Systems Inc. has launched its US commercial quantum computing business with the appointment of supercomputing veteran Robert “Bo” Ewald as president.

The Burnaby, BC-based D-Wave, which bills itself as the world’s first commercial quantum computing company, said the Silicon Valley executive will also head up global customer operations as the company’s chief revenue officer. New offices and R&D facilities have opened in Palo Alto, Calif. and D-Wave expects others “in the near future.”

The company’s D-Wave One flagship product is built around a superconducting processor that uses quantum mechanics to super-accelerate computation.

In 2010 US defense contractor Lockheed Martin purchased the company’s first commercial quantum computer.

Ewald was at visualization and HPC leader SGI twice, most recently as CEO, and had a number of roles at supercomputing leader Cray Research including president, COO and CTO; and he led several start-up companies as CEO/chairman including Linux Networx, e-Stamp, and most recently Perceptive Pixel.

Lockheed Martin has just upgraded its to the D-Wave Two, a machine D-Wave’s founder Geordie Rose said is 500,000 times faster than its predecessor.

Quantum computers operate at speeds unattainable by today’s most powerful supercomputers, processing millions of calculations in a fraction of the months, even years, traditional computers take.

They can also be taught and they recognize objects in images, a task standard computers struggle with.

Ray Johnson, Lockheed’s chief technical officer, told the New York Times his company would use the technology to create and test complex radar, space and aircraft systems.

With files from The Associated Press.