Our researchers and engineers worked directly with NASA's Quantum Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (QuAIL), which hosts a 2,048-qubit D-Wave 2000Q™ quantum computer. The QuAIL project is a collaborative effort among NASA, Google, and Universities Space Research Association (USRA) to explore the potential for quantum computers to tackle optimization problems that are difficult or impossible for traditional supercomputers to handle.

Working closely with our partner teams and Wave, we helped design the power, cooling, and network infrastructure technology required to maintain the Wave system at its optimal near-absolute-zero operating temperature. Our engineers also developed technology to protect the quantum computer system from vibration and electromagnetic noise. The system performs quantum annealing—a process that takes advantage of quantum effects such as superposition and tunneling to solve combinatorial optimization problems.

The Wave 2000Q is the largest quantum annealer in the world. It was upgraded in the summer of 2017, which more than doubled the number of qubits in the 1,115-qubit D-Wave 2X system installed in 2015, increasing it in size. This upgrade quadrupled the amount of qubits in the original 509-qubit D-Wave system which was installed in 2013.