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D-Wave demonstrates a performance advantage over classical systems

Quantum computing provider D-Wave Quantum has published a peer-reviewed paper showing the performance of its 5,000 qubit Advantage quantum computer can significantly outpace classical computing systems on 3D spin glass optimisation problems. 

The paper - a collaboration between scientists from D-Wave and Boston University - entitled “Quantum critical dynamics in a 5,000-qubit programmable spin glass,” was published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature. Building upon research conducted on up to 2,000 qubits last September, the study shows that the D-Wave quantum processor can compute coherent quantum dynamics in large-scale optimisation problems. This work was done using D-Wave’s commercial-grade annealing-based quantum computer, which is accessible for customers to use today.

Dr Alan Baratz, CEO of D-Wave, comments: “This research marks a significant achievement for quantum technology, as it demonstrates a computational advantage over classical approaches for an intractable class of optimisation problems. For those seeking evidence of quantum annealing’s unrivalled performance, this work offers definitive proof.”

The findings show that coherent quantum annealing can improve solution quality faster than classical algorithms. The observed speedup matches the theory of coherent quantum annealing and shows​ a direct connection between coherence and the core computational power of quantum annealing.

This work supports D-Wave’s ongoing commitment to relentless scientific innovation and product delivery, as the company continues development on its future annealing and gate model quantum computers. To date, D-Wave has brought to market five generations of quantum computers and launched an experimental prototype of its sixth-generation machine, the Advantage2 system, in June 2022. The full Advantage2 system is expected to feature 7,000+ qubits, 20-way connectivity and higher coherence to solve even larger and more complex problems.

Wojciech Zurek, theoretical physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory and leading authority on quantum theory, stated: “This is an important advance in the study of quantum phase transitions on quantum annealers. It heralds a revolution in experimental many-body physics and bodes well for practical applications of quantum computing.” 

“The same hardware that has already provided useful experimental proving ground for quantum critical dynamics can be also employed to seek low-energy states that assist in finding solutions to optimisation problems,” Zurek continued.

Gabriel Aeppli, professor of physics at ETH Zürich and EPF Lausanne, and head of the Photon Science Division of the Paul Scherrer Institut said: "Disordered magnets, such as spin glasses, have long functioned as model systems for testing solvers of complex optimisation problems. This paper gives evidence that the quantum dynamics of a dedicated hardware platform are faster than for known classical algorithms to find the preferred, lowest energy state of a spin glass, and so promises to continue to fuel the further development of quantum annealers for dealing with practical problems." Professor Aeppli coauthored the first experimental paper demonstrating the advantage of quantum annealing over thermal annealing in reaching ground-state of disordered magnets.


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