DWave Systems CEO Vern Brownell says we are at the dawn of the quantum computing age, so things will change over time, and we’ll see a broader and broader set of applications. But today DWave focuses on three problem domains that they think are best suited to this particular type of quantum computing.
1. Machine learning, which is one of the most interesting things going on in computer science today. AI 2.0 and useful AI have really revolutionized the way a lot of folks do things today.
2. A broad set of optimization problems. In logistics, for example, you’re trying to find optimal routing and things like that. They are very complex and scale very quickly with the number of variables and interrelationships you’re trying to optimize for.
3. Sampling. The best example for this is perhaps in financial services, where Monte Carlo simulations represent the largest workloads in most investment banks. It’s used to model things like risk in portfolios — and that’s a fit that works very well with this type of computer.
They are particularly excited about things like working with DNA-SEQ to find better cancer cures, or doing financial modeling, or, with Lockheed in particular, helping them verify their flight control systems.
Brownell says the 1152 qubit chip end all doubt that Dwave has leaped ahead of classical systems — and will forever leave them behind.
If the DWave machines are achieving “quantum speedup” and growth curves keep pace with predictions, Jurvetson believes we could be on the precipice of a fundamental shift in computing — an exponential upon exponential leap that reshapes our assumptions about what machines can do.
The 1152 qubit chip will be released early in 2015 and four of the 1152 qubit systems have been in testing and development for over 12 months. If clear speedup is being achieved then DWave would be seeing it in their tests. The scale up from 128 qubits to 512 qubits seem be produce speedups on the order of ten thousand times. A similar leap and faster loading and readout of problems should show clear advantages in their testing.
They need to have compilers and higher-level [application programming interfaces] and a full [software development kit] that will allow the technology to be used by a broad set of developers around the world.
Shortly, DWave is pretty confident that you’ll see results that definitely show us scaling better than the best known classical algorithms for those problem sets. We’re starting to see quantum accelerations, if you will, start to take off and cross over what classical systems can do.
Lockheed, Google and NASA, are customers. Dwave has other customers. They have a relationship with the U.S. intelligence community. They can disclose that In-Q-Tel, the investment arm for the CIA, is one of their investors, so there’s interest in activity going on in those spaces.
SOURCE – Recode