We see the power of community and collaboration is recognized by top minds as D-wave releases Qbsolv open source quantum computing software and thereby makes it accessible, and editable to all.
If you know much about Linux or WordPress you know that the power of open sourced software platforms is a step away from proprietary capitalistic thinking and a notch or ten up from closed source privately developed software in flexibility functionality.
D-Wave is assuredly a leader in the field of quantum computing boasting a client list including Google, NASA, Lockheed Martin and Los Alamos National Laboratory. D-Wave's faith in the power of community contribution is clearly demonstrated by this move to an open sourced platform.
Quantum Computing is arguably the most revolutionary advancement in the micro processing world known to the public in our recent history. In a nutshell quantum computing utilizes principles of quantum mechanics by harnessing sub atomic particles to hold specific structural formations and thereby store information. This differs from "modern" computer chips which utilize billions of tiny switches that exist in either the on or off position representing the 1's and 0's of binary code.
As you may have predicted, working with software that interacts with quantum particles existing in super position spinning in opposite directions simultaneously is quite challenging, particularly if you lack a quantum physics background.
D-Wave International president Bo Ewald was quoted as saying “D-Wave is driving the hardware forward but we need more smart people thinking about applications, and another set thinking about software tools.”
Anyone who's read article one in recent years on quantum computing knows that the password solving capability of said machines leaves 128 encryption far behind in the dust. Modern encryption techniques are no match for their raw power to break through data security protocols with 'brute force' attacks. In Jan of 2017 however a 16 year old Irish student of Terenure College and winner of the 2017 BT Young Science & Technology Exhibition the introduces qCrypt, an advanced quantum-encryption data format to rival the awing security breaching powers of the quantum computer. Read the Full Articl Here: Irish Teen Conceives Encryption Technique to Challenge Quantum Computers - qCrypt & Shane Curran
The top two uses of conventional super computers have been quoted as protein folding and astronomical calculations, literally computations pertaining to astronomy. Depending on one's personal experience we can think of many other exciting functions that could be exponentially accelerated such as advanced weather pattern forecasting, mapping the bloodstream, tectonics and earthquake prediction, and 3D animation and rendering. Of course let us remember Google's favorite, attempting to create the most advanced AI 'brain' ever conceived, Google Brain. Did I mention their acquisition of the top 8 military robotics companies within a 6 month period in 2013, and another 50 companies totaling over 18 BILLION in expenditure in 2016...Can you say SKYNET? Sorry getting off topic...ahem, anyway back to the quantum computers.
The open source software, titled Qbsolv, coupled with the accompanying downloadable quantum computer simulator/emulator affords everyone the ability to experience quantum computing and coding. Another piece of similar software worthy of mention is Qmasm which was released by a Qbsolv user, Scott Pakin of Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Fred Glover, a University of Colorado, Boulder mathematician experienced with Qbsolv offered the following insight: “Not everyone in the computer science community realizes the potential impact of quantum computing, Qbsolv offers a tool that can make this impact graphically visible, by getting researchers and practitioners involved in charting the future directions of quantum computing developments.”
There is however one key underlying difference in the type of computational operations D-Wave's quantum computers are capable of processing from other supercomputers. The purpose behind other current conventionally designed microprocessors is general purpose problem solving, where as D-Waves quantum machines is geared for one purpose only: solving optimization problems. A famous metaphor for this is know as the 'Traveling Salesman Problem" where the most efficient method of traveling the shortest distance along a given route while visiting all key locations along the route is calculated. Said quantum cpus also bear the paradoxical characteristics of high speeds but low rates of perfection in solving the actual problem. These are qualities lend themselves well to calculations relating to AI for example.
D-Wave's financial backers that encompass an impressive list including NASA, the CIA and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.