*Technology* A quantum computer just solved a decades-old problem three million times faster than a classical computer

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Scientists from quantum computing company D-Wave have demonstrated that, using a method called quantum annealing, they could simulate some materials up to three million times faster than it would take with corresponding classical methods. Together with researchers from Google, the scientists set out to measure the speed of simulation in Instead of proving quantum supremacy, which happens when a quantum computer runs a calculation that is impossible to resolve with classical means, D-Wave's latest research therefore rather demonstrates that the company's quantum annealing

Quantum computers are thought to be very fast for a particular type of problem . I read about an example problem that involved a complicated travel itinerary. Say you need to fly from Atlanta to Sydney with multiple stop overs for 2 - 3 days in NY, London, and Paris,and Amsterdam. To date, no quantum computer has solved a problem faster than a classical computer . That level of performance is still theoretical, and a long way off. Yet after decades of pursuing this holy grail of computing , quantum computers are finally on the brink of viability – and that’s huge news.

Scientists from quantum computing company D-Wave have demonstrated that, using a method called quantum annealing, they could simulate some materials up to three million times faster than it would take with corresponding classical methods.

Together with researchers from Google, the scientists set out to measure the speed of simulation in one of D-Wave's quantum annealing processors, and found that performance increased with both simulation size and problem difficulty, to reach a million-fold speedup over what could be achieved with a classical CPU.

The calculation that D-Wave and Google's teams tackled is a real-world problem; in fact, it has already been resolved by the 2016 winners of the Nobel Prize in Physics, Vadim Berezinskii, J. Michael Kosterlitz and David Thouless, who studied the behavior of so-called "exotic magnetism", which occurs in quantum magnetic systems.

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While quantum computers can offer an exponential boost in computational power, they can’t be programmed in the same way as a classical computer . The instruction set and algorithms change, and the resulting output is different as well. On a classical computer , the solution is found by checking possibilities one at a time . Quantum computers are best-suited for solving problems with a limited volume of output, and—ideally—those with a limited amount of input. These restrictions might lead you to assume that the scope of what quantum computers can do is narrow, but the exact opposite is true.

Quantum computers are thought to be able to solve complex problems thousands of times faster than classical computers , and scientists have been working on developing them for more than a decade . These devices could be useful for modeling quantum mechanics — the realm of physics that describes how matter at the sub-microscopic scale can exist as both a particle and a wave — or for cracking encrypted online information. A team of researchers compared the performance of a D-Wave Two device to that of a classical computer on a specific set of problems , and failed to find evidence

The Nobel Prize winners used advanced mathematical methods to describe, in the 1970s, the properties of a two-dimensional quantum magnet, which shed light on the strange – or "exotic" – states that matter can take on.

Instead of proving quantum supremacy, which happens when a quantum computer runs a calculation that is impossible to resolve with classical means, D-Wave's latest research therefore rather demonstrates that the company's quantum annealing processors can lead to a computational performance advantage.

"This work is the clearest evidence yet that quantum effects provide a computational advantage in D-Wave processors," said Andrew King, director of performance research at D-Wave.

D-Wave's processors are based on quantum annealing technology, which is a quantum computing technique used to find solutions to optimization problems. While some argue that the scope of the problems that can be resolved by the technology is limited, quantum annealing processors are easier to control and operate than their gate-based equivalents, which is why D-Wave's technology has already reached much higher numbers of qubits than can be found in the devices built by big players like IBM or Google.

### How researchers are mapping the future of quantum computing, using the tech of today

Imagine a future where new therapeutic drugs are designed far faster and at a fraction of the cost they are today, enabled by the rapidly developing field of quantum computing. © Provided by Geekwire Pacific Northwest National Laboratory computer scientist Sriram Krishnamoorthy. (PNNL Photo) The transformation on healthcare and personalized medicine would be tremendous, yet these are hardly the only fields this novel form of computing could revolutionize.

A Quantum Computer is not a computer in the conventional sense as we imagine it. It is not like a laptop, or even a desktop computer . A conventional ion-trapped quantum computer looks something like It has been shown that for certain mathematical tasks, quantum computers will be faster than classical computers . The list of such tasks is growing as researchers are developing new quantum algorithms.

Quantum computers employ three counterintuitive phenomena. One is “superposition”, the idea behind Schrödinger’s famous dead-and-alive cat. Unlike classical bits, which must be either one or zero, “qubits” may be a mixture of both. Google’s machine has 53 qubits, which between them can The biggest problem facing quantum engineers is how to spot and correct these, because most of the useful applications of quantum computing will require many, many more qubits than current devices sport—with a concomitant increase in the risk of errors. That has spurred a huge effort, both by

To simulate exotic magnetism, King and his team used the D-Wave 2,000-qubit system, which was recently revised to reduce noise, to model a programmable quantum magnetic system, just like Berezinskii, Kosterlitz and Thouless did in the 1970s to observe the unusual states of matter. The researchers also programmed a standard classical algorithm for this kind of simulation, called a "path-integral Monte Carlo" (PIMC), to compare the quantum results with CPU-run calculations. As the numbers show, the quantum simulation outperformed classical methods by a margin.

"What we see is a huge benefit in absolute terms," said King. "This simulation is a real problem that scientists have already attacked using the algorithms we compared against, marking a significant milestone and an important foundation for future development. This wouldn't have been possible today without D-Wave's lower noise processor."

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Quantum computers have the potential to blow right through obstacles that limit the power of classical computers , solving problems in seconds that would take a classical computer the entire life of the Universe just to attempt to solve , like encryption, optimization, and other similar tasks. In classical computing , a bit can only store a single state, 1 or 0, at any given time . Qubits actually store the superposition of every possible quantum state, so a single qubit can hold two binary values at once, meaning a single operation can be carried out on 2n values simultaneously, where n is the number of

Traditional computers , including supercomputers, require substantial time to crunch that kind of big data. But scientists have long theorised that a computer that harnesses the often-peculiar principles of quantum mechanics could perform these kinds of calculations in a flash, and even solve problems that would take years for a normal computer to churn through. A classical computer does useful calculations by processing bits that represent ones and zeroes. But a “standard” quantum computer uses the idea of quantum entanglement – whereby information can exist as both a one and a zero or

Equally as significant as the performance milestone, said D-Wave's team, is the fact that the quantum annealing processors were used to run a practical application, instead of a proof-of-concept or an engineered, synthetic problem with little real-world relevance. Until now, quantum methods have mostly been leveraged to prove that the technology has the potential to solve practical problems, and is yet to make tangible marks in the real world.

In contrast, D-Wave's latest experiment resolved a meaningful problem that scientists are interested in independent of quantum computing. The findings have already attracted the attention of scientists around the world.

"The search for quantum advantage in computations is becoming increasingly lively because there are special problems where genuine progress is being made. These problems may appear somewhat contrived even to physicists," said Gabriel Aeppli, professor of physics at ETH Zürich and EPF Lausanne.

### Quantum computing: Quantum annealing versus gate-based quantum computers

Researchers from pharmaceutical company GSK investigated whether existing quantum computers could already assist with drug discovery.The conclusion? The method used by D-Wave, called quantum annealing, can already compete against classical computers and start addressing realistic problems; on the other hand, gate-based quantum computers, such as the one that IBM is building, remain short of enough qubits to run problems that are relevant to the real world.

"But in this paper from a collaboration between D-Wave Systems, Google, and Simon Fraser University, it appears that there is an advantage for quantum annealing using a special purpose processor over classical simulations for the more 'practical' problem of finding the equilibrium state of a particular quantum magnet."

D-Wave, however, stayed clear of claiming quantum advantage, which happens when a quantum processor can demonstrate superiority over all possible classical competition; King stressed that it is still possible to design highly specialized algorithms to simulate the model once the properties of the model are already known.

The real significance of the experiment rather lies in the proof that a computational advantage can already be achieved using existing quantum methods to solve a valuable materials science problem.

"These experiments are an important advance in the field, providing the best look yet at the inner workings of D-Wave computers, and showing a scaling advantage over its chief classical competition," said King. "All quantum computing platforms will have to pass this kind of checkpoint on the way to widespread adoption."

Although D-Wave's 2,000-qubit system was used for the research due to the technology's lower noise rates, the company recently released a 5,000-qubit quantum processor, which is already available for programmers to build quantum applications.

From improving the logistics of retail supply chains to simulating new proteins for therapeutic drugs, through optimizing vehicles' routes through busy city streets, D-Wave is currently counting 250 early quantum annealing applications from various different customers.

IonQ to go public via SPAC deal, becomes quantum computing pure play .

When the deal closes, IonQ will trade under the ticker IONQ with a market cap of about $2 billion. With the move, IonQ will be the first pure-play quantum computing company to trade publicly. The quantum computing efforts to date have been part of larger companies such as IBM and Honeywell. IonQ introduces Algorithmic Qubits to counter Quantum Volume in quantum computingIonQ CEO Peter Chapman on quantum computing adoption, innovation and what's nextIonQ, as detailed previously, has an approach that may make quantum computing more mainstream.

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Scientists from quantum computing company D-Wave have demonstrated that, using a method called quantum annealing, they could simulate some materials up to three million times faster than it would take with corresponding classical methods. Together with researchers from Google, the scientists set out to measure the speed of simulation in Instead of proving quantum supremacy, which happens when a quantum computer runs a calculation that is impossible to resolve with classical means, D-Wave's latest research therefore rather demonstrates that the company's quantum annealing www.zdnet.com

Will quantum computers eventually replace classical - QuoraQuantum computers are thought to be very fast for a particular type of problem . I read about an example problem that involved a complicated travel itinerary. Say you need to fly from Atlanta to Sydney with multiple stop overs for 2 - 3 days in NY, London, and Paris,and Amsterdam. To date, no quantum computer has solved a problem faster than a classical computer . That level of performance is still theoretical, and a long way off. Yet after decades of pursuing this holy grail of computing , quantum computers are finally on the brink of viability – and that’s huge news. www.quora.com

Understanding how to solve problems with a quantum computerWhile quantum computers can offer an exponential boost in computational power, they can’t be programmed in the same way as a classical computer . The instruction set and algorithms change, and the resulting output is different as well. On a classical computer , the solution is found by checking possibilities one at a time . Quantum computers are best-suited for solving problems with a limited volume of output, and—ideally—those with a limited amount of input. These restrictions might lead you to assume that the scope of what quantum computers can do is narrow, but the exact opposite is true. cloudblogs.microsoft.com

First ' Quantum Computer ' No Faster Than Classic PC | Live ScienceQuantum computers are thought to be able to solve complex problems thousands of times faster than classical computers , and scientists have been working on developing them for more than a decade . These devices could be useful for modeling quantum mechanics — the realm of physics that describes how matter at the sub-microscopic scale can exist as both a particle and a wave — or for cracking encrypted online information. A team of researchers compared the performance of a D-Wave Two device to that of a classical computer on a specific set of problems , and failed to find evidence

Would quantum computers be better than - QuoraA Quantum Computer is not a computer in the conventional sense as we imagine it. It is not like a laptop, or even a desktop computer . A conventional ion-trapped quantum computer looks something like It has been shown that for certain mathematical tasks, quantum computers will be faster than classical computers . The list of such tasks is growing as researchers are developing new quantum algorithms.

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