Technology 4 min read

D-Wave Update: VW and Others Upgrading to Quantum Computing

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Quantum Computing is entering the commercial market years ahead of schedule. We wonder whether hybrid systems will bridge the gap to the future.

You’d think that something like quantum computing would be super-secret. It’s highly advanced, is probably the wave of the future, and it even sounds really cool. Also, it isn’t completely understood. Couldn’t leave that fact out.

Automobile producer Volkswagen has decided to throw their lot in with D-Wave Systems, a quantum computing company we’ve covered before.

Bridging the gap Between old and new

D-Wave is unique in the quantum computing field because they have built their machines for use in the public world. A notable project of theirs is to use their computing systems to coordinate about 10,000 taxis in Beijing.

While pure quantum computers will one day outdo the loftiest dreams of today’s most advanced supercomputers, those types of computers won’t reach the public for some time.

Hybrids, however, are quite a different story.

By hybridizing their systems with quantum computing technology, they can boost the processing power of the original processing unit. Think of it like installing a graphics card into your PC; the card takes over a specialized process so that it is able to access more power to render graphics.

In Beijing, that might take the form of a specialized quantum computer that can layer different decision-making processes for 10,000 taxis. For Volkswagen, though, it could mean supremacy in a new market.

But What can They do for Volkswagen?

At this point, it behooves us to bring up the smart car, today’s answer to what the future can do for driving.

D-Wave can boost traditional computer efficiency. If D-Wave and Volkswagen can come up with a hybrid quantum computer that can process the algorithms that make for safe driving, then they may just get a leg up on the quest for the holy grail that is the self-driving car.

Volkswagen is using D-Wave systems for traffic flow optimization.Click To Tweet

Volkswagen is starting with traffic flow optimization.

But what else could Volkswagen use quantum computing for?

Of course, D-Wave could also use quantum computing resources to help automated manufacture or power any number of beneficial systems such as traffic indicators, maintenance notifications, or navigation.

The buzz is very real at D-Wave and Volkswagen, and with a year of partnership under their belts, we expect to see something big soon.

But don’t Forget About the Research Machines

Volkswagen is trying to scale quantum tech now. Yet, many more companies are investing in the long-term outlook.

IBM isn’t resting on their laurels; their quantum cloud has brought in around 40,000 users, and they just released a new software suite for ‘simple’ quantum applications. With big names like

With big names like MIT patronizing their services, you know they must be doing something right.

Google announced, “We anticipate that, within a few years, well-controlled quantum systems may be able to perform certain tasks much faster than conventional computers based on CMOS (complementary metal-oxide–semiconductor) technology. Here we highlight three commercially viable uses for early quantum-computing devices: quantum simulation, quantum-assisted optimization, and quantum sampling. Faster computing speeds in these areas would be commercially advantageous in sectors from artificial intelligence to finance and health care.”

The part about ‘commercially viable uses’ is what gets us going.

I mentioned D-Wave’s partnership with Beijing earlier, but I wanted to go into a bit more detail here because it shows that governments are getting interested in what quantum computing can do for them.

If hybrid quantum computing systems can improve infrastructure, as it may do in Beijing, then city governments across the world will have a very real demand for such hybrid systems.

We’ll be sure to keep an eye on who invests in D-Wave and quantum computing systems here at Edgy Labs.

Is quantum computing coming faster than we think, or are these hybrid systems just bridging the gap between us and the future?

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