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Weapons lab likes D-Wave’s next quantum system

D-Wave computer
A team member at D-Wave Systems, based in Burnaby, B.C.,, works on the dilution refrigerator system that cools the processors in the company’s quantum computer. (D-Wave Systems Photo)

D-Wave Systems says its next-generation, 5,000-qubit quantum computing system will be called Advantage, to recognize the business advantage it hopes its customers will derive from the company’s products and services.

The Burnaby, B.C.-based company also announced that Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico has signed a contract to upgrade to Advantage on its premises once it’s ready to go. Advantage-based computing is due to become available via D-Wave’s Leap quantum cloud service in mid-2020.

“This is the third time we will have upgraded our D-Wave system,” Irene Qualters, associate lab director for simulation and computation at Los Alamos, said today in a news release. “Each upgrade has enabled new research into developing quantum algorithms and new tools in support of Los Alamos’ national security mission.”

The lab’s national security mission includes keeping the nation’s nuclear weapons up to date — and checking their safety and potency using methods that include computer simulations.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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