Fujitsu was back as an exhibitor at this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, interacting with some of the brightest minds in the industry and demonstrating our latest technological innovations. One of the key highlights Fujitsu demonstrated at the show was the Digital Annealer, a quantum-inspired computing technology.
We had a diverse team of Fujitsu experts passionately explaining the uniqueness and benefit of this offering as we head towards the quantum age. It was really interesting and rewarding to see how visitors were amazed with what the technology could achieve without having to deal with the challenges involved in running traditional quantum computers.
The rapid evolution of computers through the 20th century has made our lives easier and better. However, general purpose computing architecture appears to be reaching its limits, signaling the end of Moore’s law. Hence there have been major investigation and R&D investments around Quantum and neural computers by IT vendors, including Fujitsu. Quantum computers are now one of the most talked about new technologies. However, the technology is still evolving with challenges remaining in relation to stability, error correction and having to run in milli-kelvin scale temperatures. As the quest to make quantum computers a practical solution continues, Fujitsu has developed a unique, one-of-a-kind digital circuit-based architecture to solve combinatory optimization problems at quantum speeds. The solution is called Digital Annealer – a very practical, stable solution which can run at room temperature.
One of the very simple examples which show the magnitude of the performance increment the Digital Annealer can provide is a traveling salesperson problem. Let’s say, you have to travel across 30 cities and need to identify the best possible route to take. You are dealing with 2.65×1032 possible combinations here. Computing across all of these combinations accurately would take a supercomputer 800 million years, while Fujitsu’s Digital Annealer can compute it in one second! That’s right, just 1 sec. Sounds unreal, doesn’t it!?!?!
Combinatorial optimization problems actually exist in various areas of society: Disaster recovery, logistics, drug discovery, digital marketing, optimization of investment portfolios, etc. At MWC, we unlocked the power of the quantum-inspired technology and demystified the solution with a live demonstration of molecular similarity identification for a drug called Relenza, commonly used for Influenza. We also had a demonstration of big data visualization tool, clustering data across 20 different parameters within a second. The most popular and relevant use case applications picked up by large telco providers during the event were big data visualization and network communication optimization. We believe the Digital Annealer is a true game-changer as we move towards the quantum age, providing society with a viable solution today.
While there were only a handful of people talking about future quantum technology at Mobile World Congress, I would not be surprised to see many more solutions, or even a dedicated section focused on quantum or quantum-inspired technologies in the coming year. Looking forward to see what next year would bring.
In the meantime, you can keep up with what Fujitsu is doing with its quantum-inspired technology here.