Lockheed Martin

Validating Complex Systems

Lockheed Martin is one of the largest defense contractors in the world. It operates in Aeronautics, Information Systems & Global Solutions, Missile and Fire Control, Mission Systems and Training, and Space Systems. Lockheed Martin designs highly elaborate systems. Yet, on average, half the cost of creating them is on verification and validation (V and V).

Lockheed’s Chief Scientist, Ned Allen, wanted to explore an entirely new approach that might reduce the cost and time for V and V, recognizing that in the future systems would become even more complex. For help finding a quantum system to solve the problem, Allen turned to Daniel Lidar, a professor of electrical engineering, chemistry, and physics at the University of Southern California (currently the Director and co-founder of the USC Center for Quantum Information Science & Technology).

Ned Allen sent D-Wave a sample problem to run on its system. It was a 30-year-old chunk of code from an F-16 aircraft with an error that took Lockheed Martin’s best engineers several months to find. Just six weeks after sending it to D-Wave, the software error was identified.

In late 2010 Lockheed Martin became the first D-Wave customer. Their D-Wave One system, which is the first commercially available quantum computer in the world, was installed at USC’s Information Sciences Institute so that they could explore its potential.

This is a revolution not unlike the early days of computing. It is a transformation in the way computers are thought about.

- Ray Johnson, Lockheed Martin’s chief technical officer

In May 2013 Lockheed Martin upgraded its D-Wave One quantum computer to a 512-qubit D-Wave Two computer and planned to expand research into its potential for solving challenges ranging from designing lifesaving new drugs to instantaneously debugging millions of lines of software code.

In November 2015 upgraded its system to the 1000+ qubit D-Wave 2X quantum computer. Greg Tallant, Lockheed Martin fellow and lead for the University of Southern California-Lockheed Martin Quantum Computation Center (QCC) said "Through our continued investment in D-Wave technology, we are able to push the boundaries of quantum computing and apply the latest technologies to address the real-world problems being faced by our customers.” 

 


Related Press Coverage

May 30, 2013
|Bloomberg Businessweek

The Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab (QuAIL)

Google, NASA and USRA Collaboration

In 2013, a D-Wave Two system was installed at the new Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab, a collaboration among Google, NASA and the Universities Space Research Association (USRA). The lab is housed at the NASA Ames Research Center in California. In September 2015 the system was upgraded to a 1000+ qubit D-Wave 2X quantum computer. 

The research team at Google will focus on how the quantum system may help build more accurate models for everything from speech recognition, to web search, to protein folding. 

We believe quantum computing may help solve some of the most challenging computer science problems, particularly in machine learning.

- Hartmut Neven, Director of Engineering, Google

NASA aims to demonstrate that quantum computing and quantum algorithms may someday dramatically improve algorithms for optimization tasks in air traffic control, autonomy, robotics, navigation and communication, system diagnostics, pattern recognition, and mission planning and scheduling.

USRA will manage the science operations for the collaboration, which includes an allocation of 20% of the computing time to the academic community through a competitive selection process.


Related Press Coverage

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory, a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of United States national security, has played a role in some of the most transformational discoveries of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Los Alamos acquired a D-Wave 2X system in support of its leading role in a collaboration within the Department of Energy and with select university partners to explore the capabilities and applications of quantum annealing technology. This is consistent with the goals of the government-wide National Strategic Computing Initiative. The National Strategic Computing Initiative, created by executive order of President Obama in July 2015, is intended "to maximize [the] benefits of high-performance computing (HPC) research, development, and deployment."

“As conventional computers reach their limits in terms of scaling and performance per watt, we need to investigate new technologies to support our mission. Researching and evaluating quantum annealing as the basis for new approaches to address intractable problems is an essential and powerful step, and will enable a new generation of forward thinkers to influence its evolution in a direction most beneficial to the nation."

-Mark Anderson of the Laboratory's Weapons Physics Directorate

John Sarrao, associate director for Theory, Simulation, and Computation at Los Alamos, expanded on the need to explore new technologies: "Eventually Moore’s Law (that predicted that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit would double every two years), will come to an end. Dennard Scaling (that predicted that performance per watt of computing would grow exponentially at roughly the same rate) already has. Beyond these two observations lies the end of the current 'conventional' computing era, so new technologies and ideas are needed."  

Related Press Coverage

Jul 25, 2016
|LANL 1663

USC Information Sciences Institute

USC-Lockheed Martin Quantum Computation Center

The D-Wave system purchased by Lockheed Martin is installed at USC’s  Information Sciences Institute, one of the world’s leaders in computing technologies. The computing center was constructed to support future generations of quantum computer chips, thus positioning the school and its partners at the forefront of quantum computing research.

USC’s research focuses on theoretical and practical aspects of adiabatic quantum optimization, which is how the D-Wave system performs computation, encoding a problem as a search for the lowest energy state of a physical quantum system.

USC faculty, USC Information Sciences Institute researchers, and students conduct theoretical and experimental quantum research on the D-Wave Two system, the world's first commercial adiabatic quantum optimizer and by far the largest functional quantum information processor ever built – placing the QCC at the leading edge of potentially revolutionary research.

 

Related Press Coverage