A new partnership between NASA, Google and the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) announced a five year Space Act Agreement, that will put into action the most powerful “D-Wave 2X system“, a state-of-the-art quantum processor, which will enable customers to run much larger, more complex problems on the system.

The Quantum Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (QuAIL), is NASA’s agency’s hub for an experiment to evaluate the potential of quantum. Two years ago, the agency installed a previous D-Wave Two quantum computer in the NASA’s Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) facility at NASA’s Ames Research Center, and named it “the most powerful of its kind in the world.”

At 1,000+ qubits, the D-Wave 2X quantum processor evaluates 21,000 possible solutions simultaneously as it converges on optimal or near optimal solutions, more possibilities than there are particles in the observable universe. Credit: DWave WordPress.

“The new agreement is the largest order in D-Wave’s history, an indicative of the importance of quantum computing in its evolution toward solving problems that are difficult for even the largest supercomputers,” said D-Wave CEO Vern Brownell. “We highly value the commitment that our partners have made to D-Wave and our technology and are excited about the potential use of our systems for machine learning and complex optimization problems.”

D-Wave 2X capabilities

Furthermore, the new D-Wave 2X that was released earlier this year is currently the most advanced quantum computer in the world. It exploits quantum mechanical effects, built around 1,000 qubits or a quantum bit rather than bits. It is capable of operating in extremely cold environments and also enables quantum algorithms to solve unimaginable problems.

In addition, the 1,000 quantum bits, are chilled close to absolute zero in order to obtain the best quantum effects. The user designs a problem an put it into a search “for the lowest point in a vast landscape,” and the processor will consider all possibilities simultaneously to determine the lowest energy required to form those relationships. The user will received multiple solutions, which will be scaled to show optimal answers.

QuAIL Project

The agreement between NASA, Google, and USRA will continue for 5 years. They are targeting four main technology tasks, which are: quantum computer, acceptance tests, development of quantum algorithms and also mapping onto the system.

The QuAIL team wants to provide a hardware through embedding techniques and creating quantum-classical hybrid algorithms, so they can solve problems which are impossible for both Google and NASA.

“Working with the D-Wave processors has helped us develop and fine-tune models of quantum annealing,” Google’s Hartmut Neven, head of the Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab, said in a statement. “We look forward to the continued advancements coming from each generation of D-Wave systems,” the Verge reported.

Source: D-Wave: The Quantum Computing Company