Ordinary computers are working with bits that can be in one of two states: a 0 or a 1. A quantum computer, on the opposite, isn’t limited like this. It uses so-called quantum bits to store information, also called qubits, which can be in superposition.
Physically, Qubits can be atoms, ions, photons, or electrons and their control devices that are acting together as computer memory and a processor. Quantum computer can contain multiple states simultaneously, thus it is millions of times more powerful than today’s most powerful supercomputers.
Canadian quantum computing company D-Wave, had recently extended a contract for its 500-qubit D-Wave Two computer. Today, they reached another milestone: they began to commercially sell the D-Wave 2000Q, which has 2,000 qubits and costs just around $15 million. D-Wave also announced the first customer for the new system, Temporal Defense Systems Inc. (TDS), a cutting-edge cybersecurity firm.
The computer will be used for solving problems that are so complex that they were previously thought unsolvable, with faster performance, providing a big step toward production applications in optimization, cybersecurity, machine learning, and sampling.
“Using benchmark problems that are both challenging and relevant to real-world applications, the D-Wave 2000Q system outperformed highly specialized algorithms run on state-of-the-art classical servers by factors of 1,000 to 10,000 times,” Dwave announced. A typical problem, the D-Wave 2000Q will try to solve, is how planetary rovers can manage time and schedules autonomously.