D-Wave powers Advantage2 quantum computer prototype • The Register


D-Wave Systems has put its next-generation Advantage2 quantum computer in the cloud, or at least some form of it.

This experimental machine will be accessible from D-Wave’s Leap online service, we are told. We first learned about the experimental system last year when the company unveiled its Clarity roadmap, which includes plans for a gate-model quantum system. Advantage2 sports D-Wave’s latest qubit topology and design which apparently increases connectivity and aims to deliver better performance by reducing noise.

“By making the Advantage2 prototype available today in the quantum cloud service Leap, the company is providing early insight for exploration and learning by developers and researchers,” D-Wave said in a statement.

While the full Advantage2 annealing computer is expected to feature 7,000 qubits and is expected to be available sometime in 2023-2024, the cloud-hosted prototype was built with around 500 qubits. That said, it represents an upcoming full-scale product release, and therefore has all the basic features of that machine available for testing, D-Wave said.

This feature includes a so-called Zephyr topology for qubits, with 20-lane inter-qubit connectivity and an updated qubit design. D-Wave said these qubits were built using a multi-layered superconducting fabrication process believed to provide greater qubit coherence for increased performance.

In its Zephyr white paper [PDF], D-Wave explains that the qubits of its systems are arranged in a network and oriented vertically or horizontally. There are couplers to connect pairs of orthogonal qubits (those with opposite orientation) and outer couplers to connect collinear pairs of qubits (parallel pairs of qubits).

With the older Pegasus topology, D-Wave introduced a third type called odd couplers, which connect pairs of parallel qubits in adjacent rows or columns of the network. The Zephyr topology has these three types of couplers, with a total of two odd couplers, two outer couplers, and sixteen inner couplers.

According to D-Wave, early benchmarks with the smaller-scale prototype system demonstrated more compact integrations, lower error rates, as well as improved solution quality and increased likelihood of finding optimal solutions.

D-Wave’s director for quantum annealing products, Emile Hoskinson, said Advantage2 incorporates all the lessons the company has learned from 15 years of building quantum annealing systems.

“The Advantage2 prototype is designed to share what we learn and get community feedback as we continue to evolve into the full Advantage2 system,” she commented. “These learnings have accelerated our ability to more quickly incorporate innovations in manufacturing processes and materials, as well as hardware and software into our development cycle.”

As noted, access to the Advantage2 prototype is made available through D-Wave’s Leap subscription-based quantum cloud service. In addition to that, developers and engineers can access other D-Wave systems, including an Advantage system that the company has physically located at the University of Southern California for US customers, rather than operate from D-Wave’s facilities in British Columbia. ®


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