D-Wave launches its quantum hybrid platform

D-Wave, one of the earliest quantum computing startups, today announced the general availability of D-Wave Hybrid, it’s open-source hybrid workflow platform that makes it easier for developers to build — you guessed it — hybrid quantum applications that combine classical and quantum computing. D-Wave Hybrid is part of the company’s Ocean software development kit, which itself is part of its Leap quantum computing cloud service.

Pretty much by default, all quantum computer systems are hybrids, as you still need a standard classical computer to control the quantum chips. The platform gives developers the tools to develop their applications for D-Wave’s recently launched 2000Q family of machines, as well as future systems.

The general idea behind D-Wave Hybrid and similar tools from its competitors like Rigetti is to help developers build applications that essentially use the quantum computer as a co-processor when it’s useful. D-Wave Hybrid also helps developers to break larger problems into smaller parts in order to allow today’s generation of what are still relatively limited quantum processors to process them.

“Quantum hybrid development very quickly brings the power of classical computing and quantum computing together. In fact, we expect most applications of our quantum technology to be run as hybrids of quantum and classical computation, much as CPUs and GPUs work together for many tasks today,” said Alan Baratz, executive vice-president and chief product officer at D-Wave. “Our approach is practical: D-Wave Hybrid facilitates applying current problem-solving knowledge to a hybrid platform so customers can increasingly use quantum power. This approach ensures we’re building toward outcomes where customers will see real business benefit.”

One of the earliest customers of this system is Volkswagen, which is currently using the system for a number of small proof-of-concepts around traffic flow optimization and other optimization problems.