Canadian startup D-Wave Systems has extended the availability of its Leap branded cloud-based quantum computing service to Europe and Japan.
With Leap, researchers will be granted free access to a live D-Wave 2000Q machine with – it is claimed – 2,000 quantum bits, or qubits.
Developers will also be free to use the company’s Quantum Application Environment, launched last year, which enables them to write quantum applications in Python.
Each D-Wave 2000Q normally costs around $15m.
It is important to note that the debate on whether D-Wave’s systems can be considered “true” quantum computers has raged since the company released its first commercial product in 2011.
Rather than focusing on maintaining its qubits in a coherent state – like Google, IBM and Intel – the company uses a process called quantum annealing to solve combinatorial optimisation problems. The process is less finnicky but also less useful, which is why D-Wave claims to offer a 2,000-qubit machine, and IBM presents a 20-qubit computer.