New quantum computing systems for Google, NASA

By: | Published: September 29, 2015 7:21 PM

A Canadian company has entered into a new agreement with Google and NASA to provide them sophisticated quantum computing systems to advance artificial intelligence and machine learning.

A Canadian company has entered into a new agreement with Google and NASA to provide them sophisticated quantum computing systems to advance artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Quantum computing company D-Wave Systems Inc, announced that it has entered into an agreement covering the installation of a succession of D-Wave systems located at NASA’s Ames Research Centre in California.

This agreement supports collaboration among Google, NASA and USRA (Universities Space Research Association) that is dedicated to studying how quantum computing can advance artificial intelligence and machine learning, and the solution of difficult optimisation problems.

The new agreement enables Google and its partners to keep their D-Wave system at the state-of-the-art for up to seven years, with new generations of D-Wave systems to be installed at NASA Ames as they become available.

“The new agreement is the largest order in D-Wave’s history, and 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 in a statement.

“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 optimisation problems,” Brownell said.

Since 2013, when the previous generation 500-qubit D-Wave Two system was installed at NASA Ames, scientists at Google, NASA and USRA have been using it to explore the potential for quantum computing and its applicability to a broad range of complex problems such as web search, speech recognition, planning and scheduling, air-traffic management and robotic missions to other planets.

“Working with the D-Wave processors has helped us develop and fine-tune models of quantum annealing,” said Hartmut Neven, Director of Engineering for Google and Head of the Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab.

“We look forward to the continued advancements coming from each generation of D-Wave systems,” said Neven.

“Through research at NASA Ames, we hope to demonstrate that quantum computing and quantum algorithms may someday dramatically improve our ability to solve difficult optimisation problems for missions in aeronautics, Earth and space sciences, and space exploration,” said Eugene Tu, Centre Director at NASA’s Ames Research Centre.

“The availability of increasingly more powerful quantum systems are key to achieving these goals, and work is now underway with D-Wave’s latest technology,” said Tu.

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