At its annual Qubits 2023 conference being held in Miami, Florida, D-Wave Quantum Inc. announced continued progress on its Clarity product roadmap as well as continued progress with customers developing solutions that can run on their quantum annealer.

To begin with, they described the progress being made on their future Advantage2 annealer which will have 7,000 qubits using using an architecture they call Zephyr. That processor will have qubit-to-qubit connectivity of 20 versus the predecessor Advantage processor which has only 15. This will allow them to better embedded programs onto the machine and use fewer qubits. In addition, Advantage2 will use an improved fabrication process that will provide a significant improvement in noise characteristics and longer qubit coherence times. The full-sized Advantage2 processor is slated to be introduced later in 2023 or 2024, but D-Wave has already produced a prototype of a smaller version with about 576 qubits and run tests on it. D-Wave has already run comparison tests between the current Advantage processor and the Advantage2 prototype for programs that will fit on the Advantage2 and found that the prototype already could provide better quality solutions in the majority of test cases. And D-Wave has not finished optimizing the design yet. (You can view additional information about the Advantage2 prototype in our previous QCR article here and technical papers from D-Wave here and here.

The company also described progress with their gate level processor development program. As mentioned previously, D-Wave understands that while the quantum annealers are a good solution for optimization problems they would not be good for other quantum applications that might involve quantum machine learning, computational chemistry or other applications. So they have started a long term gate level program in order to cover all the possible quantum applications. D-Wave has defined a five phase plan to develop a fault tolerant gate level machine based upon superconducting technology. At the conference, they announced they have built and are currently benchmarking one and two qubit devices that use a new scalable readout method. In addition, they have developed the first iteration of a logical qubit design. But they are still at the early stages of the development and cautioned that it will still take at least seven years before they will make available a full-sized gate level machine for use in commercial applications. However, similar to what we described above with Advantage2, they might make available smaller prototypes of the gate level device for use in benchmarking and testing. D-Wave has already launched support for a gate level simulator in their Ocean suite of software development tools which allows users to construct gate-level circuits and simulate them.

On the software side, D-Wave described several new enhancements to their constrained quadratic model (CQM) hybrid solver. The improvements include support for continuous variables for better representing problems, weighted constraints that allows a developer to specify that some constraints are more important than others if all of them can’t be satisfied, and pre-solve techniques to reduce the size of a problem by reducing unnecessary variables and constraints without changing the problem’s fundamental nature and make it easier to fit the problem into the machine and make it easier to solve. This improvements to the CQM along with the improvements announced last year (see here and here), make it easier for an end user to develop a program and start running it on the quantum annealer.

Finally, D-Wave reported continued customer tracking and had several of their customers including Mastercard, Davidson Technologies, Recruit Group, Pattison Food Group, SavantX, and others describe the applications they are working on that use the D-Wave annealer. The company indicated that they have over 60 companies working with them on real world quantum-hybrid applications.

D-Wave will be posting videos of the presentations on the conference website and later on their YouTube channel. You can register to view the conference here and you can access a press release that describes some of the announcements at the conference here.

January 17, 2023