D-Wave Systems offers free quantum cloud access to beat COVID-19

Alvin Reyes - Mar 31, 2020, 5:58 am CDT
D-Wave Systems offers free quantum cloud access to beat COVID-19

In a recent press release, D-Wave Systems Inc. is now offering free access to its Leap quantum cloud service to beat the COVID-19 pandemic. D-Wave is considered a leader in quantum computing software, systems, and services.

It’s also the world’s first supplier of quantum computers. Working closely with partners and customers including Volkswagen, KYOCERA, Denso, Menten AI, and the Jülich Supercomputing Center, the various global engineering and medical teams can access the Leap quantum cloud service to fast-track the development of testing kits, vaccines, and a possible cure to treat COVID-19.

“We’re living through an unprecedented crisis affecting nearly every industry and population. Deftly responding to this pandemic requires creativity and new approaches to solving problems,” said Alan Baratz, CEO of D-Wave. “We believe that by combining our customer’ and partner’s expertise with hybrid quantum computing, we can together bring a potentially powerful resource to the individuals, organizations, and governments around the world building solutions nimbly and collaboratively.”

What is quantum computing?

Quantum computing is developed to deal with uncertainties in a particular calculation, derivative, or formula. Normal computers process information in ‘bits’, which are represented by zeroes and ones (0 and 1). If you take a picture using your smartphone, the image file is composed of millions of bits that the computer (or smartphone) interprets as a picture – the image that you’re actually seeing on the screen.

However, nature doesn’t work in the same manner as image files or word documents. If you flip a coin, the result can only be heads or tails, and you’ll only know the result after the coin lands in your hand. Quantum computing (or quantum computers) use ‘qubits’ (instead of ‘bits’ like normal computers) of information to calculate the uncertainties as the coin spins in the air. In this application, you can determine the probabilities (heads or tails) even before the coin lands.

Another example is navigating over a twisty maze. If you use a normal computer, it will use bits of information to go through each path before eventually finding the exit point. Depending on the complexity of the maze, it takes time for the computer to solve the equation. But with a quantum computer, it can navigate each path at once, which means faster computing and blazing-fast results.

How can quantum computers help to defeat COVID-19?

Since quantum computers are faster and can process complex amounts of data at once, the application is best-suited for analyzing new methods of diagnosis to curb the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, quantum computing helps in modeling the spread of the virus (which can lead to possible cures and vaccines), optimizing supply distribution, and even hospital logistics.

D-Wave’s Leap 2 hybrid solver service can use both classical and quantum resources to solve complex problems and equations with up to 10,000 fully-connected variables.

“It is promising to accelerate the solution of complex problems in pharmacology and epidemiology, such as those that have arisen in the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis, by means of hybrid workflows from quantum-classical computer simulations,” added Prof. Dr. Kristel Michielsen of the Jülich Supercomputing Center.

In the long run, quantum computing has the potential of changing how we live. This technology is currently utilized in developing higher forms of artificial intelligence for both commercial and industrial applications. But for now, D-Wave and its partners are focused on saving humanity from extinction through the help of mega-fast quantum computing solutions.

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