Tohoku University Establishes Research and Development Program using D-Wave machine

Development of artificial intelligence systems as a means to solve highly complex problems is quickly becoming competitive around the world, fueled by large-scale data, and the availability of high-speed computing technology to process the data.

There is also a radical new approach to addressing such complex problems - quantum computing. One of the most promising of such approaches uses a method called "quantum annealing," which has evolved from research on theoretical physics done in Japan about 20 years ago. The company that succeeded in first developing this new quantum computer and launching it commercially is D-Wave Systems Inc., headquartered in Canada.

With the support of the research and development project, "Program for Creating Start-ups from Advanced Research and Technology (START)," promoted by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), Associate Professor Masayuki Ohzeki at Tohoku University's Graduate School of Information Sciences, has started using a D-Wave 2000Q™ system, the latest quantum computer developed by D-Wave. The system, with 2000 qubits, can process complicated information in a unique manner.

Ohzeki's research team is now using it to explore the potential of quantum annealing, as well as ways quantum annealing can solve real-world problems. It is the first major quantum annealing application research project to be funded by the Japanese government and led by a Japanese national university.

All D-Wave customer systems are currently installed in the United States, including those used by Lockheed Martin, Google, NASA Ames and the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

However, at the annual international conference on quantum annealing held in Japan this past summer, it was revealed that many local companies, including Recruit Communications, are already using D-Wave systems over the cloud.

In addition to Tohoku University, Waseda University and services and software company Fixstars, are also currently involved in quantum annealing application research.

News in Japanese


Masayuki Ohzeki
Graduate School of Information Sciences
Tohoku University

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