D-Wave releases development kit for hybrid quantum-classical applications

Quantum computing firm D-Wave Systems aims to bring developers to their ecosystem by providing development tools and cloud access to quantum computers.

Will quantum computers make traditional computers obsolete? What will be the role for conventional computers after a useful quantum computer is invented?

D-Wave Systems announced D-Wave Hybrid—an open-source platform for developing hybrid quantum-classical applications—on Monday, at the Quantum for Business conference in Mountain View, CA. The new development platform gives programmers the ability to more easily use classical and quantum computers in parallel, without requiring knowledge of quantum mechanics to get started.

SEE: IT leader's guide to the future of quantum computing (Tech Pro Research)

D-Wave's approach to quantum computing relies on a design centered around quadratic unconstrained binary optimization (QUBO). The company claims that tasks which can be expressed as QUBO problems benefit from the calculation speedup provided by the quantum annealing design at the core of the D-Wave 2000Q system.

Various organizations have used D-Wave's quantum computers in optimization tasks. German car manufacturer Volkswagen and Japanese automotive components manufacturer Denso have both (separately) partnered with D-Wave in the past to develop traffic flow optimization models. Similarly, Tohoku University in Japan has used D-Wave quantum computers to develop tsunami evacuation models, as part of research related to the Great East Japan Earthquake that struck the Tohoku area in March 2011.

The new development toolkit gives programmers the ability to distribute classic and quantum tasks to the appropriate systems, allowing these tasks to be performed by the computer most suited to that task. It also includes a problem deconstruction system, which allows problems to be segmented to fit the maximum size of the quantum processor and subsequently recombined to attain the solution.

The platform is built in Python, in an effort to make quantum computing approachable for developers without a background in quantum mechanics, and to ease deployment of programs which rely on parallel computing.

D-Wave offers free access to quantum systems through the cloud, as well as development resources, demos, coding examples, and a knowledge base as part of their D-Wave Leap service.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • D-Wave Systems announced D-Wave Hybrid, an open-source platform for developing hybrid quantum-classical applications.
  • D-Wave's approach to quantum computing relies on a quantum annealing design for solving quadratic unconstrained binary optimization (QUBO) problems.

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