Leap 2: Reimagining the Future of Quantum App Development

Murray Thom
Feb 26 · 5 min read

Make the quantum leap from exploration to production, just in time for Leap Day.

In 2020, the quantum computing community is not only causing disruption, it is experiencing it as well. When I started building quantum computers 18 years ago, the community was made up of quantum physicists and complexity theorists. As an emerging quantum computing industry takes shape, the changing landscape requires perspectives to evolve, and I can see long-time quantum experts struggling with this broader view.

Even as the foundations of quantum computing continue to settle, a flood of new entrants want to put quantum computers to productive use. And they’re doing it. Since the Leap cloud service first launched in 2018, D-Wave’s users and customers have gone from building 80 quantum applications to over 200. They’re turning quantum mechanics into useful work, finding new ways to solve problems in everything from finance to transportation to medicine, and beyond.

Today, quantum computing evolves again and the progress to come will soon eclipse our past milestones. I’m thrilled to announce that we’ve launched Leap 2, an even richer Leap quantum cloud service designed around practicality and ease-of-use. If the original Leap was about giving hundreds of thousands of developers their first real-time access to a live quantum computer in the cloud, Leap 2 is about giving those developers the ability to go from exploration to production — making it easier than ever to build quantum applications for the real world. Specifically, Leap 2 comes with powerful new capabilities, resources, and tools that will help forward-thinking businesses and developers build practical, production-ready quantum applications.

Intrigued? Let’s take a closer look under the hood of Leap 2:

Bringing Hybrid Applications to Life with the Hybrid Solver Service

Quantum applications will always and only be hybrid. That’s why we built the hybrid solver service (HSS), containing an arsenal of quantum-classical algorithms. The HSS gives users the ability to solve much larger real-world problems with a shorter learning curve, resulting in quicker deployment of quantum apps.

Our existing hybrid platform allows users to build and run hybrid workflows using our open-source Ocean software. Now, the addition of the cloud-based hybrid solver in Leap will enable developers to benefit from a professionally-run HSS in the cloud that’s maintained, upgraded, and tuned by D-Wave experts.

The HSS includes “hybrid_v1”, a solver designed based on customer feedback and usage patterns that we observed in our open-source Ocean tools after releasing our Hybrid platform. This new hybrid solver will join the quantum processing unit (QPU) solvers in Leap that our customers can employ in their applications. The hybrid solver provides high-quality solutions to users’ jobs, solving problems with up to 10,000 variables with no need for complex performance tuning. It is designed to support end-to-end applications with performance that is robust across a simpler set of input parameters. This solver, and others like it that are in development, will enable our customers to build their quantum-classical hybrid applications more quickly and easily.

Cultivating Collaboration in an Integrated Developer Environment

The original Leap was built as a quantum application environment (QAE) meant to foster developer interactions and help them grow with learning tools, forums, and resources.

In Leap 2, we’re building on that principle with a full-featured Integrated Developer Environment (IDE). The IDE unifies cloud-based tools and resources for developers in Leap. It empowers developers to build apps faster by learning from an easily searchable library of examples and using preinstalled Ocean tools. This interactive environment embodies our philosophy that direct access to extensive programming features with open-source collaboration is vital to realizing practical quantum applications.

Visualizing Code with the Problem Inspector

For power users, Leap 2 also includes a ground-breaking problem inspector for debugging and visualizing calls to the quantum computer. For the first time, developers can see the whole picture — specifically, the relationships between their application problems, the quantum machine instructions, and the results returned.

The inspector produces a histogram of solutions for every problem and brings developers closer to the hardware. It’s a close-up of the quantum process and shows developers how problems look on a QPU topology at the qubit level.

Leaping Ahead to Advantage

These new features in Leap 2 are purpose-built to give quantum developers an edge in their projects right away. Later this year, when we release the next generation of D-Wave’s quantum computer, Advantage™, developers will find their applications run seamlessly on this advanced technology, taking full advantage of the IDE, solvers, and the problem inspector.

Looking ahead, we’ll also continue to keep our ears open to user feedback and look for ways to improve D-Wave’s hybrid algorithms and Leap resources. Customer and user feedback continuously help our technology teams better support developer applications and build a better experience in Leap 2.

Get Started Today

I know developers appreciate having time to innovate, create, and make the impossible possible. Fortunately, there is a whole extra day this year. In honor of this quadrennial event, every new Leap user will receive free time to use our quantum computers and hybrid systems. In addition, we’ll continue to renew your free monthly time if you open source the software you develop with your access.

So, with an extra day and free access, why not take the Leap?

Join Leap today and experience real-time quantum computing firsthand. All users will have up to 1 minute of QPU time or 20 minutes of quantum-classical hybrid solver time to exploit the complementary strengths of both best-in-class quantum resources and classical algorithms.


The Quantum Computing Company

Murray Thom

Written by

Vice President of Software and Cloud Services at D-Wave



The Quantum Computing Company

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