The Canadian company D-Wave announced the completion of calibration of a new generation quantum computer with more than 1200 qubits — Advantage 2. Test runs showed a twofold increase in the coherence time of qubits, which speeds up calculations, as well as the correctness of the chosen strategy to reduce errors in calculations. A prototype of the Advantage 2 computer will soon be available through the company's cloud service — it will be the most powerful quantum platform in the world.
1200-qubit Advantage Generation 2 processor. Image source: D-Wave
It should be emphasized that words about the power of a particular quantum platform should be taken with healthy skepticism. Firstly, there is no single metric that would allow us to compare quantum platforms operating on fundamentally different elemental bases: cold neutral atoms, superconducting qubits, photons, spins of elementary particles, ion traps, and so on.. Secondly, the D-Wave quantum platform is designed to solve optimization problems, which does not make it universal.
Finally, the D-Wave quantum computer maintains a consistent (coherent) state of qubits in a special way — transferring them to an excited state and waiting until they calm down — go into a state with minimal energy, which will be the answer to a programmed task (a given algorithm). Therefore, it makes sense to compare D-Wave systems of previous and new generations.
According to the company, Advantage 2 quantum computers are significantly superior to Advantage computers. For example, they solve problems 20 times faster in the study of such unusual magnets as spin glasses. This is an important family of optimization problems that are difficult for classical computers.. Advantage 2 also performed material simulation calculations twice as fast and had significantly fewer errors.. In the area of AI problem solving, Advantage 2 outperformed its predecessor 90% of the time, for example, excelling at constraint satisfaction problems.
All this was made possible both by a new topology of superconducting qubits, which increased the number of possible connections from 15 to 20, and by doubling the coherence time, as well as by further increasing the scale of the platform and reducing the noise level in new integrated circuits. The 1,200+ qubit system will be available through the company's Leap cloud service.
For commercial deliveries, the company plans to assemble systems of 7,000 qubits. They should be available before the end of this year, but may be delayed. The Advantage 2 prototype with 500 qubits was ready a year and a half ago. Since then, the company has only been able to produce a 1200-qubit prototype, which indicates a significant lag behind the previously announced schedule.