Early Adopters Exercise Quantum Bits
For a technology that’s usually characterized as far off and in a distant galaxy, quantum computing has been steadily picking up steam. Just how close real-world applications are depends on whom you talk to and for what kinds of applications. Los Alamos National Lab, for example, has an active application development effort for its D-Wave system and LANL researcher Susan Mniszewski and colleagues have made progress on using the D-Wave machine for aspects of quantum molecular dynamics simulations.
At CeBIT this week D-Wave and Volkswagen will discuss their pilot project to monitor and control taxi traffic in Beijing using a hybrid HPC-quantum system – this is on the heels of recent customer upgrade news from D-Wave. Last week IBM announced expanded access to its five-qubit cloud-based quantum developer platform. In early March, researchers from the Google Quantum AI Lab published an excellent commentary in Natureexamining real-world opportunities, challenges and timeframes for quantum computing more broadly. Google is also considering making its homegrown quantum capability available through the cloud.
As an overview, the Google commentary provides a great snapshot, noting soberly that challenges such as the lack of solid error correction and the small size (number of qubits) in today’s machines – whether “universal” digital machines like IBM’s or “analog” adiabatic annealing machines like D-Wave’s – have prompted many observers to declare useful quantum computing is still a decade way. Not so fast, says Google.
Read the full story on sister web site HPCwire.