- D-Wave and Boston University scientists show evidence of faster coherent quantum dynamics than classical dynamics in programmable 3D rotating glass.
- The problem was once considered a difficult optimization problem to solve.
- The study shows that the D-Wave quantum processor can compute coherent quantum dynamics in large-scale optimization problems, according to the company.
PRESS RELEASE — D-Wave Quantum Inc. (NYSE: QBTS), a leader in quantum computing systems, software, and services—and the only provider of building annealed and gated model quantum computers, today published its peer-reviewed milestone study of the largest programmable quantum simulation reported to date. At the moment. Computing, using more than 5,000 qubits in the D-Wave™ Advantage™ quantum computer, provides evidence for the first time that coherent quantum dynamics is faster than classical dynamics in programmable 3D spin glass, a class of hard-to-solve optimization problems.
The paper — a collaboration between scientists from D-Wave and Boston University — entitled “Critical quantum dynamics in a programmable 5,000 qubit rotating glass,” was published in the peer-reviewed journal Natural Today. Build on top research conducted up to 2,000 qubits last September, this study demonstrates that the D-Wave quantum processor can compute coherent quantum dynamics in large-scale optimization problems. While there are several quantum computer models currently under development, these results were achieved using D-Wave’s commercial-grade annealing-based quantum computers, which customers have access to for use today.
With direct implications for optimization, the findings show that by passing through quantum phase transitions instead of the corresponding thermal phase transitions, quantum annealing can improve solution quality more quickly than classical algorithms based on annealing. The resulting low-energy state corresponds to a low-cost solution to the optimization problem, and the observed acceleration fits well with coherent quantum annealing theory, supporting the value of large-scale quantum computing and the advantages of scaling in energy optimization. Furthermore, it demonstrates a direct relationship between coherence and the core computational power of quantum annealing, supporting D-Wave’s efforts at improving coherence to achieve better performance on real-world optimization problems.
“This research marks a significant achievement for quantum technology, as it demonstrates computational advantages over classical approaches for a class of difficult-to-solve optimization problems,” said Dr. Alan Baratz, CEO of D-Wave. “For those seeking evidence of the unparalleled performance of quantum annealing, this work offers definitive proof.”
This work supports D-Wave’s ongoing commitment to scientific innovation and relentless product delivery, as the company continues development of future annealed and gated model quantum computers. To date, D-Wave has marketed five generations of quantum computers and launched an experimental prototype of its sixth generation machine, Advantage2™, in June 2022. Full Advantage2 systems are expected to feature 7,000+ qubits, 20-way connectivity, and greater coherence to solve larger, more complex problems. Read more about the research in our Medium post here.
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“This is an important advance in the study of quantum phase transitions in quantum annealing. This marks a revolution in the physics of many experimental objects and bodes well for the practical applications of quantum computing,” said Wojciech Zurek, theoretical physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory and a leading authority on quantum theory. Dr. Zurek is widely recognized for his outstanding contributions to our understanding of the early universe and condensed matter systems through the discovery of the famous Kibble-Zurek mechanism. This mechanism underlies the physics behind the experiments reported in this paper. “The same hardware that has provided a useful experimental proof-site for quantum-critical dynamics can also be used to search for low-energy states that help find solutions to optimization problems.”
“Disorder magnets, such as spin glass, have long served as a model system for testing complex optimization problem solvers,” says Gabriel Aeppli, professor of physics at ETH Zürich and EPF Lausanne, and head of the Paul Scherrer Institute’s Photon Science Division. Professor Aeppli co-authored the first experimental paper demonstrating the advantage of quantum annealing over thermal annealing in achieving a disordered magnetic ground state. “This paper provides evidence that the quantum dynamics of a custom hardware platform is faster than known classical algorithms for finding the lowest preferred energy state of the spin glass, and thus holds promise to continue driving the development of further quantum annealing to address practical problems.”
“As a physicist who has built my career on computer simulations of quantum systems, it was amazing to experience firsthand the transformative capabilities of quantum annealing devices,” said Anders Sandvik, professor of physics at Boston University and one of the paper’s authors. . “This paper has demonstrated complex quantum dynamics at a scale that exceeds any classical simulation method, and I am excited about the performance improvements to be expected from future devices. I believe we are now entering an era when quantum annealing is becoming an important tool for research on complex systems.”
“This work marks a major step towards large-scale quantum simulation of complex materials,” said Hidetoshi Nishimori, Professor, Institute of Innovative Research, Tokyo Institute of Technology and one of the original inventors of quantum annealing. “We can now expect new physical phenomena to be revealed by quantum simulations using quantum annealing, eventually leading to the design of materials with significant social value.”
“This represents some of the most important experimental work ever done in quantum optimization,” said Dr. Andrew King, director of performance research at D-Wave. “We have demonstrated acceleration over simulated annealing, very true to theory, providing high-quality solutions to large-scale problems. This work provides clear evidence of quantum dynamics in optimization, which we believe paves the way for solving more complex problems using quantum annealing in the future. The work demonstrates the realization of the programmable laboratory experiments that originally motivated quantum annealing 25 years ago.”
“This is not only the largest demonstration of quantum simulation to date, but also provides the first experimental, theory-backed evidence, that coherent quantum dynamics can accelerate the attainment of better solutions in quantum annealing,” said Mohammad Amin, colleague, quantum algorithm and system, on D-Wave. “The observed acceleration can be attributed to complex critical dynamics during quantum phase transitions, which cannot be replicated by classical annealing algorithms, and the agreement between theory and experiment is outstanding. We believe these findings have significant implications for quantum optimization, with practical applications in addressing real-world problems.”