NASA and Google Receiving State-of-the-Art Quantum Computer, a D-Wave 2X

By: | October 8th, 2015

The Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab, a joint project between Google, NASA, and the Universities Space Research Association, has some pretty exciting news.

The Quantum AI Lab has announced a multiyear agreement to install a D-Wave 2X, a state-of-the-art quantum computer that with over 1,000 qubits is the most powerful machine of its kind.

One of the more interesting aspects of the new quantum computer is the fact that it can only operate at ridiculously cold temperatures, to the tune of less than 15 millikelvin.

To put that in perspective, 2X’s standard operating temperature is much colder than outer space.

“Working with the D-Wave processors has helped us develop and fine-tune models of quantum annealing,” Google’s Harmut Neven, head of the Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab, said in a statement. “We look forward to the continued advancements coming from each generation of D-Wave systems.”

While the announcement will surely generate buzz, benchmarking tests on D-Wave’s previous models have yet to yield results showing the “quantum speedup” — the exponential increase in computing power that makes quantum computing so fascinating.

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