Cambridge Quantum Algorithm Solves Optimisation Problems Significantly Faster, Outperforming Existing Quantum Methods

Cambridge Quantum Algorithm Solves Optimisation Problems Significantly Faster, Outperforming Existing Quantum Methods

A Novel Combinatorial Optimisation Algorithm Sets a New Quantum Computing Standard at the Heart of the Modern Economy

Cambridge Quantum scientists introduce the Filtering Variational Quantum Eigensolver (F-VQE) to make combinatorial optimisation more efficient. The new approach surpassed “gold standard” algorithms by leveraging Honeywell’s System Model H1 quantum computer.

In a development that is likely to set a new industry standard, scientists at Cambridge Quantum  have developed a new algorithm for solving combinatorial optimisation problems that are widespread in business and industry, such as travelling salesman, vehicle routing or job shop scheduling, using near-term quantum computers.

Mathematical conundrums like these lie at the heart of a vast range of real-world optimisation challenges such as designing manufacturing processes, filling delivery trucks or routing passenger jets. As the level of automation in modern global businesses increases year over year, optimisation algorithms running on even the most powerful classical computers are forced to trade accuracy for speed.

In the paper “Filtering variational quantum algorithms for combinatorial optimisation” published on the pre-print repository arXiv, Cambridge Quantum scientists introduce the Filtering Variational Quantum Eigensolver (F-VQE) to make combinatorial optimisation more efficient. Using the Honeywell System Model H1 quantum computer, the new approach outperformed existing “gold standard” algorithms such as the Quantum Approximate Optimisation Algorithm (QAOA) and the original VQE, reaching a good solution 10 to 100 times faster.

The paper has been authored by Cambridge Quantum’s research team comprising Michael Lubasch, Ph.D., David Amaro, Ph.D., Carlo Modica, Ph.D., Matthias Rosenkranz, Ph.D., and Marcello Benedetti, Ph.D.. The scientists are part of Cambridge Quantum’s Machine Learning and Quantum Algorithms team headed by Dr. Mattia Fiorentini.

F-VQE leverages a method published in the paper “Hardware-efficient variational quantum algorithms for time evolution” by Cambridge Quantum in September 2020, which demonstrated how a quantum circuit can be decomposed into smaller circuits and run using fewer qubits without losing quantum advantage. As a result, a 23-qubit problem was solved by using only up to 6 hardware qubits at time. Cambridge Quantum’s scientists also demonstrated that the new approach is highly adaptable for use with noisy intermediate-scale quantum (NISQ) era machines. These advancements increase the scale of the optimisation problems that are within reach of today’s NISQ computers.

“Our scientists are honing in on a range of workable methods for today’s quantum computers. We want enterprises and governments to achieve quantum advantage for general purpose tasks more quickly, and our experience of working with large industrial partners facilitates a deep understanding of the needs of practitioners today.” said Fiorentini. “F-VQE has distinct advantages over previous quantum algorithms: it finds good candidate solutions faster and uses quantum hardware much more efficiently. F-VQE could have a transformative impact, helping to solve previously intractable problems across business and industry.”

Ilyas Khan, CEO of Cambridge Quantum, said, “Our team of scientists is relentlessly focused on closing the gap between the real-world limits of classical computation and the quantum advantage that will be available in the NISQ era. They are establishing new standards in quantum computing and their research will inspire rapid further progress.”

Tony Uttley, President of Honeywell Quantum Solutions, said, “This project illustrates the exciting advances occurring in quantum computing. By developing algorithms that do more with fewer qubits and running them on the best hardware possible, we are making significant progress toward solving real-world problems sooner than expected.”

 

Cambridge Quantum and Honeywell Combine

Cambridge Quantum Algorithm Solves Optimisation Problems Significantly Faster, Outperforming Existing Quantum Methods

A Novel Combinatorial Optimisation Algorithm Sets a New Quantum Computing Standard at the Heart of the Modern Economy

Honeywell Quantum Solutions, an investor and commercial partner with Cambridge Quantum since 2019, and Cambridge Quantum have combined, forming a new company that is extremely well-positioned to lead the quantum computing industry by offering both hardware and software solutions.

  • Cambridge Quantum, a global leader in quantum software and algorithms, today announced they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Cambridge Quantum will combine with Honeywell Quantum Solutions (HQS), a Honeywell business unit and maker of the highest performing quantum computer currently available. Honeywell has been an investor in and commercial partner with Cambridge Quantum since 2019.
  • The combination will form a new company that is extremely well-positioned to lead the quantum computing industry by offering advanced, fully integrated hardware and software solutions at an unprecedented pace, scale and level of performance to large high-growth markets worldwide.
  • The new company’s combined expertise will deliver solutions to customers globally as well as spur advances that will accelerate the adoption and impact of quantum technology worldwide.

“Joining together into an exciting newly combined enterprise, HQS and CQ will become a global powerhouse that will create and commercialize quantum solutions that address some of humanity’s greatest challenges, while driving the development of what will become a $1 trillion industry,” said Ilyas Khan, founder of CQ. “I am excited to lead a company that has the best people and technologies in the quantum computing industry and the best and boldest clients. Together we will lead the industry as it grows and matures, and create tangible, credible, provable and science-led advances.”

Honeywell’s Chairman and CEO Darius Adamczyk noted, “The new company will have the best talent in the industry, the world’s highest performing quantum computer, the first and most advanced quantum operating system, and comprehensive, hardware- agnostic software that will drive the future of the quantum computing industry. The new company will be extremely well positioned to create value in the near-term within the quantum computing industry by offering the critical global infrastructure needed to support the sector’s explosive growth.”

Adamczyk added, “Since we first announced Honeywell’s quantum business in 2018, we have heard from many investors who have been eager to invest directly in our leading technologies at the forefront of this exciting and dynamic industry – now, they will be able to do so. The new company will provide the best avenue for us to onboard new, diverse sources of capital at scale that will help drive rapid growth.”

“Since we first announced Honeywell’s quantum business in 2018, we have heard from many investors who have been eager to invest directly in our leading technologies at the forefront of this exciting and dynamic industry – now, they will be able to do so. The new company will provide the best avenue for us to onboard new, diverse sources of capital at scale that will help drive rapid growth.”

Dariuz Adamczyk

Founded in 2014, Cambridge Quantum has assembled the industry’s largest scientific team in quantum algorithms and software to achieve major advances in cybersecurity, finance, drug discovery, materials science, optimization, quantum machine learning, natural language processing and more. Cambridge Quantum will continue its presence and expand its software and algorithm development team in the UK, with offices in Cambridge, London and Oxford, and overseas in the USA (Washington), Germany and Japan. CQ will operate with no change to its globally recognized brand.

Honeywell began its quantum computer development program a decade ago and uses trapped-ion technology that uses charged atoms to hold quantum information. The Honeywell System Model H1 consistently achieves the highest quantum volume – a comprehensive performance measurement used widely by the industry – on a commercial quantum computer.

The new company, which will be formally named in due course, will have a long-term agreement with Honeywell to help manufacture the critical ion traps needed to power the quantum hardware. Honeywell will invest between US$270million to US$300 million in the new company.

 

 

ADDITIONAL DETAILS

Honeywell will be the majority shareholder of the new company, and CQ’s shareholders will own over 45% of the new company. The transaction has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both Cambridge Quantum and Honeywell. The deal is intended to close in Q3 this calendar year and is subject to the satisfaction of certain regulatory approvals, and other customary closing conditions.

Merrill Lynch International (“BofA Securities”) is acting as exclusive financial advisor to Cambridge Quantum, while Morrison & Foerster LLP is acting as its legal advisor. J.P. Morgan Securities LLC is acting as exclusive financial advisor to Honeywell, while Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP is acting as its legal advisor.

 

ABOUT HONEYWELL

Honeywell is a Fortune 100 technology company that delivers industry-specific solutions that include aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings and industry; and performance materials globally. Our technologies help aircraft, buildings, manufacturing plants, supply chains, and workers become more connected to make our world smarter, safer, and more sustainable. For more news and information on Honeywell, please visit www.honeywell.com/newsroom.