Fujitsu and RIKEN develop superconducting quantum computer at the RIKEN RQC-Fujitsu Collaboration Center

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superconducting quantum computer
Quantum computer developed at the RIKEN RQC-Fujitsu Collaboration Center

Today, Fujitsu and RIKEN unveiled their collaborative achievement: a 64 qubit superconducting quantum computer at the RIKEN RQC-Fujitsu Center. This advanced quantum computer is built upon technologies pioneered by RIKEN, Fujitsu, and a group of research collaborators, marking Japan’s initial entry into superconducting quantum computing, which was introduced to the public in March 2023.

Along with the recent announcement, Fujitsu and RIKEN also introduced a platform for hybrid quantum computing. This platform synergizes the capabilities of the new 64 qubit superconducting quantum computer and one of the world’s largest (1) 40 qubit quantum computer simulators developed by Fujitsu. Starting October 5, 2023, this innovative platform will be accessible to companies and research bodies collaborating with both Fujitsu and RIKEN.

The innovative hybrid platform facilitates easy comparison of computation outcomes from noisy intermediate-scale quantum (NISQ) machines against error-free results from quantum simulators. This enhancement aids in speeding up research, especially in evaluating the efficiency of error mitigation strategies in quantum applications.

Fujitsu and RIKEN are advancing a hybrid quantum algorithm that integrates superconducting quantum computing and high-performance computing (HPC). By connecting a quantum computer to an HPC-based quantum simulator, they’ve crafted a hybrid quantum algorithm capable of executing quantum chemistry calculations with higher precision than traditional algorithms like (CCSD(T)) (2). Both partners intend to incorporate this advanced algorithm into their new platform.

In their future endeavors, Fujitsu and RIKEN aim to advance technologies such as high-density deployment to actualize a 1,000 qubit superconducting quantum computer, and technologies for more accurate quantum gate operations.

Through this platform, Fujitsu and RIKEN will extend quantum computing and simulation resources to clients across diverse sectors, including finance and drug discovery. They aim to bolster R&D initiatives for quantum applications via collaborative research, fast-tracking the real-world implementation of both quantum computing hardware and software.

Leading the way to the age of practical quantum computing

Recent years have seen rapid advancements in diverse quantum computing architectures. Yet, achieving consistent and reliable outcomes with quantum computers remains a hurdle, as present-day NISQ systems continue to face computational inaccuracies stemming from environmental noise.

Specialists predict it might take a decade or more to achieve a functional fault-tolerant quantum computer (FTQC) that delivers trustworthy and precise outcomes. Concurrently, the evolution of quantum applications, essential for the pragmatic utilization of quantum computers upon the availability of an FTQC, stands as another crucial focus.

Quantum simulators, capable of digitally replicating quantum computations, play an essential role in advancing towards practical, fault-tolerant quantum computing. Distinct from contemporary quantum computers, these simulators can conduct errorless, long-step (quantum-like) computations since they aren’t dependent on error-susceptible qubits. Yet, given that quantum simulators merely mimic quantum computations on traditional computers, they can’t achieve genuine quantum acceleration—a prospective advantage of functional quantum computers.

To tackle these challenges, Fujitsu and RIKEN introduced a hybrid quantum computing platform that merges the strengths of superconducting quantum computers and quantum simulators. This initiative aims to enhance the utilization of the superconducting quantum computer developed at the RIKEN RQC-Fujitsu Collaboration Center and foster the development of quantum applications.

About the new 64 qubit superconducting quantum computer developed at the RIKEN RQC-Fujitsu Collaboration Center

The hybrid quantum computing platform incorporates a new 64 qubit superconducting quantum computer, building on the technology from Japan’s first superconducting quantum computer introduced by RIKEN in March 2023. This was part of the Quantum Leap Flagship Program (MEXT Q-LEAP) led by Team Leader Yasunobu Nakamura (Grant No. JPMXS 0118068682) under the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology. The development took place at the RIKEN RQC-Fujitsu Collaboration Center, in collaboration with the Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) (3).

This computer features a consolidated 64 superconducting qubit chip, pivotal for quantum computing functionalities, and adopts a vertical wiring layout scheme that is similar to RIKEN’s quantum computer to make it scalable for future expansion. It also benefits from NTT’s qubit control software, ensuring meticulous qubit management. The advanced superconducting quantum computer facilitates computations involving up to 2 64 quantum superposition and entanglement states, potentially handling calculations that classical computers find challenging.

R&D of hybrid quantum algorithms

Fujitsu and RIKEN are advancing hybrid quantum algorithms that combine quantum computing with HPC to address challenges across various sectors. Within their ongoing collaboration, they’ve crafted a hybrid quantum algorithm where a quantum simulator handles a portion of a quantum computer’s algorithmic calculations. This algorithm facilitates high-precision calculations of large molecules using quantum algorithms and the Density Matrix Embedding Theory (DMET), a method segmenting large molecules into smaller chunks. They applied this technique to compute the ground state energy of the H12 molecule (comprising twelve hydrogen atoms), enhancing its accuracy using AI-driven quantum computation correction to counteract quantum computer noise. By doing so, Fujitsu and RIKEN have achieved energy calculations surpassing the precision of traditional algorithms like CCSD(T). Beyond integrating this tech into the forthcoming hybrid quantum platform, Fujitsu aims to develop a computing workload broker—a smart tool that automatically picks the best computing resources and algorithms to find optimal solutions for client challenges.

About the new hybrid quantum computing platform

Utilizing cloud services like Amazon Web Services’ serverless computing offering, AWS Lambda (4), the new platform adopts a scalable cloud architecture. This setup provides businesses and research bodies working with Fujitsu and RIKEN effortless access to both the quantum computer and quantum simulator through common APIs.

Both entities foresee the new platform facilitating easy switching between quantum computing and quantum simulation. This adaptability is essential for crafting hybrid algorithms leveraging both classical and quantum computers, like the Variational Quantum Eigensolver (VQE) for quantum chemistry’s molecular energy estimations or quantum algorithms in finance. Moreover, Fujitsu and RIKEN anticipate future integrations of this platform with external quantum chemistry computation libraries.

Overview of the new platform for hybrid quantum computing future plans

In their future endeavors, Fujitsu and RIKEN will persist in their collaborative efforts at the RIKEN RQC-Fujitsu Collaboration Center, aiming to develop a large-scale quantum computer with 1,000 qubits. The innovations birthed from this partnership will be made accessible through the new hybrid quantum platform.

RIKEN and Fujitsu are set to intensify their collaboration in crafting practical uses for quantum computers. They’ll also advance research and development in quantum computing simulation technology and software that harmonizes quantum computing with HPC.

Fujitsu has been conducting joint research with Fujifilm Corporation (5), Tokyo Electron Limited (6), Mizuho DI Financial Technology Co., Ltd. (7) and Mitsubishi Chemical Group Corporation (8) on the development of pioneering quantum applications using quantum simulators.

Looking ahead, Fujitsu, in partnership with RIKEN, intends to speed up collaborative research on the new hybrid platform alongside diverse companies, academic institutions, and research bodies. Their goal is to broaden the exploration of tangible hybrid quantum applications across sectors such as materials, finance, and pharmaceuticals.

Comments from joint research partners of FujitsuComment from Yukihiro Okuno, Senior Research Scientist, Analysis Technology Center, Fujifilm Corporation:

“We anticipate that the ultrafast computing power of quantum computers enables unprecedented high-precision chemical calculations, which will greatly contribute to materials development. Fujifilm will leverage the new hybrid quantum computing platform to research the effects of noise on current quantum computing results. We will also continue to develop innovative materials through the application of quantum computing.”

Comment from Tsuyoshi Moriya, Vice President, Digital Design Center, Tokyo Electron Limited:

“In the field of computational chemistry, quantum computers have the potential to perform highly accurate calculations that have not been possible with classical computers. Tokyo Electron is conducting this joint research as part of a feasibility study to utilize quantum computers for semiconductor manufacturing process development and material development.”

Comment from Kazuya Kaneko, Financial Engineer, Mizuho-DL Financial Technology Co., Ltd.:

“Quantum circuit devices and large-scale quantum circuit simulators are essential in research for performance evaluation and demonstration of quantum applications and error correction algorithms. Through this joint research, we aim to establish foundational technologies for applications in the fields of financial engineering and data science, with the ultimate goal of implementing quantum computing in society.”

Comment from Qi Gao, Senior Chief Scientist, Materials Design Laboratory, Science & Innovation Center, Mitsubishi Chemical Group Corporation:

“The conventional approach for the discovery of new materials and new drugs is extremely costly and time-consuming. To accelerate cycles of the scientific discovery, we are promoting a new R&D system that enables to yield rapid and accurate property predictions by utilizing quantum computers. As part of this effort, we are conducting joint research with Fujitsu, aiming to combine large-scale quantum computing with other emerging technologies in the future to create innovations in the fields of materials and drugs discovery.”

Featured Image Source: Fujitsu 

[1] World’s largest :World's largest permanent dedicated quantum simulator of state vector method (as of September 2023, according to Fujitsu)
[2] CCSD(T) :Coupled Cluster Single, Double, (and Triple), a computational method known as high-precision computing in quantum chemistry calculations.
[3] Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) :Headquarters: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan; President: Akira Shimada
[4] Amazon Web Services (AWS) :Global cloud computing service which Amazon Web Services has been offering since 2006
[5] Fujifilm Corporation :Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan; President and CEO: Teiichi Goto
[6] Tokyo Electron Limited :Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan; Representative Director, President & CEO: Toshiki Kawai
[7] Mizuho DI Financial Technology Co., Ltd. :Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan; President and CEO Takahiko Yasuhara
[8] Mitsubishi Chemical Group Corporation :Headquarters: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan; President and CEO: Jean-Marc Gilson

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