D-Wave announces ‘quantum annealer’ with 5,000 qubits

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D-Wave will make a new version of its quantum annealer available in mid-2020 that has 5,000 qubits. With the new system, D-Wave has also reduced the amount of noise in its quantum processing units.

With five thousand qubits, the next generation of D-Wave systems will receive more than double the amount of qubits of the current D-Wave 2000Q systems. The company uses a modified arrangement of qubits, something D-Wave calls the Pegasus topology. Each qubit is connected to fifteen other qubits. In the Chimera topology of the D-Wave 2000Q, they communicate with six other qubits.

The company’s quantum processors, the quantum processing units, are also less affected by noise, which improves the coherence of the qubits. This, in conjunction with the larger amount of qubits, will enable customers to run faster and more powerful quantum applications, according to the company. From mid-2020, companies can access the new systems via the internet or house them themselves.

The operation of the D-Wave systems is based on quantum annealing and they are therefore not universal quantum computers. However, they are suitable for performing certain calculations faster than traditional computing systems. Google and NASA, among others, therefore use the systems in calculations for artificial intelligence. The relatively large influence of noise on the qubits in D-Wave systems limits the possibilities to handle complex computational tasks, although the new generation may change this.

On the left the Chimera topology of qubits of the current D-Wave 2000Q systems, on the right the Pegasus topology of upcoming systems.

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