28 Sep 2015 Palo Alto - D-Wave Systems Inc., a major quantum computing company, has entered into a new agreement covering the installation of a succession of D-Wave systems located at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California. This agreement supports collaboration among Google, NASA and Universities Space Research Association (USRA) that is dedicated to studying how quantum computing can advance artificial intelligence and machine learning, and the solution of difficult optimization 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", stated D-Wave CEO Vern Brownell. "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 optimization problems."
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, robotic missions to other planets, and support operations in mission control centres.
"Working with the D-Wave processors has helped us develop and fine-tune models of quantum annealing", stated 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."
"Through research at NASA Ames, we hope to demonstrate that quantum computing and quantum algorithms may someday dramatically improve our ability to solve difficult optimization problems for missions in aeronautics, Earth and space sciences, and space exploration", stated Eugene Tu, Center Director at NASA's Ames Research Center. "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."
"Our collaboration with Google and NASA enables the university community to access the most cutting edge area of computing research today - quantum computing", stated David Bell, Director, USRA's Research Institute for Advanced Computer Science. "At USRA, we are excited to see the diversity of research that will result by having universities and other research organisations from around the world conduct research using each generation of D-Wave systems."
Installation of the new D-Wave 2X system was recently completed and the system is now operational at NASA Ames, one of the worlds leading high performance computing (HPC) centres.