LANL’s D-Wave 2X Quantum Annealer: Initial Experiments

Scott Pakin, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Wed. 3:15 – 4:00pm

scott-pakinImagine a computer that contains a single compute core, no GPUs, no floating-point arithmetic, no vectors, no caches, no disks, and a measly 136 bytes of memory capacity.  Now imagine that this same computer has the ability to search a incomprehensively large state space of over 10^329 possibilities—to find a needle in a given haystack—in only five microseconds and while consuming only 25kW of power.

Los Alamos National Laboratory recently installed a D-Wave 2X quantum annealer from D-Wave Systems, Inc.  A D-Wave 2X is a special-purpose device that exploits quantum effects to efficiently solve optimization problems.  Although it exhibits the potential for amazing performance, the challenge lies in expressing supercomputing problems in terms of the D-Wave 2X’s unconventional hardware.

Attend this talk to learn how a D-Wave 2X works; what quantum annealing is all about; and how Los Alamos National Laboratory has begun exploiting quantum annealing as a radical new form of high-performance computing.


Scott Pakin, Los Alamos National Laboratory