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Hybrid Quantum Solver Targets Complex Traveling Salesperson Problems

D-Wave tool tackles production-scale use cases in workforce, manufacturing and logistics optimization

Berenice Baker, Editor, Enter Quantum

June 17, 2024

2 Min Read
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Quantum computing company D-Wave Quantum has launched a hybrid quantum solver at its Qubits 2024 user conference, targeting real-world, complex optimization problems.

Available through the company’s Leap quantum cloud service, the solver supports up to 2 million variables and constraints, which is beyond D-Wave’s previously available technologies.

According to D-Wave, preliminary benchmarking studies showed that this translates to a tenfold increase in problem size capacity for certain applications compared with D-Wave’s previous solvers.

For example, it could find feasible routes between up to 10 times more cities for logistics operations. This is known as the Traveling Salesperson Problem and is often cited as a classic example of a challenging combinatorial optimization problem.

The ‘problem’ involves finding the shortest routes to multiple cities and returning to the original location.

Hybrid solvers combine quantum and classical computing resources to improve solutions to complex optimization problems that are intractable to classical computers alone.

“We are confident that this solver will simplify and accelerate customers’ journey to successful quantum technology adoption, helping them more quickly drive return-on-investment, and gain a competitive edge,” said D-Wave CEO Alan Baratz.

Related:Quantum Revolution 'Living up to Hype,' Quantum Summit London

“Many organizations are recognizing that their most complex computational problems go well beyond the capabilities of existing solutions. They’re adopting hybrid quantum solutions to find better answers to transform operations faster and improve the bottom line.”

D-Wave gave examples of how the solver could address workforce, manufacturing and logistics problems for enterprises.

Hybrid quantum optimization could support industries with hourly workforces or 24/7 operations to streamline staffing processes, increase productivity and reduce costs while complying with labor laws.

The solver could determine the best sequence of tasks in an assembly line for faster completion and maximized throughput while taking in factors like machine availability, processing times and due dates.

Logistics operators could optimize routing to minimize drive time, manage fuel consumption and minimize carbon emissions while reducing costs and improving fleet utilization.

“From a logistics standpoint, so many elements go into making our experiences successful,” said Momentum Worldwide global chief technology officer Jason Snyder. “We partnered with D-Wave to tackle the logistics for our large-scale tours and events in a whole new way.

Related:D-Wave, Aramco Extend Geophysical Optimization Agreement

“It's not just about doing things faster or cheaper, but also about being smarter and more sustainable in our approach. For our work, it has helped us make significant progress toward more sophisticated, efficient and eco-friendly operation models.”

About the Author(s)

Berenice Baker

Editor, Enter Quantum

Berenice is the editor of Enter Quantum, the companion website and exclusive content outlet for The Quantum Computing Summit. Enter Quantum informs quantum computing decision-makers and solutions creators with timely information, business applications and best practice to enable them to adopt the most effective quantum computing solution for their businesses. Berenice has a background in IT and 16 years’ experience as a technology journalist.

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