Fujitsu and 1QBit have announced a partnership focused on the application of quantum technology in the field of artificial intelligence. The applications developed through this partnership will address specific industry issues in the Japanese and global markets that can be solved with a combination of AI and quantum technologies.

Projects will focus on areas of combinatorial optimization, the process of finding an optimal object in an extremely large dataset, as well as machine learning.

In the partnership, 1QBit will provide the machine learning software it has developed for quantum computers, while Fujitsu will provide the hardware in the form of a ‘digital annealer’, jointly developed by Fujitsu and the University of Toronto.

The software developed by 1QBit uses machine learning techniques specifically designed to interface with quantum computers. To date, the software has been used for applications in various industries including finance, advanced materials, energy, and life sciences.

The two companies aim to contribute to transform existing businesses and to create new ones by providing new solutions to computational challenges in these fields and others.

Fujitsu’s hardware, the digital annealer, is a computing architecture that uses semiconductor technology to solve combinatorial optimization problems. The annealer uses basic optimization circuits that are constructed in a parallel, hierarchical structure using semiconductors. Combinatorial optimization conducted using Fujitsu’s digital annealer achieved results 10,000 times faster than simulated annealing on a conventional processor.

Fujitsu originally saw the digital annealer as a tool to help companies to streamline distribution, improve disaster recovery, create and implement economic policy and improve social policy and business decision-making.

Combining 1QBit’s software with Fujitsu’s hardware is intended to advance machine learning in the quantum sphere, to help enterprises solve complicated, field-specific, large-scale optimization problems.

Fujitsu will also bring to the table over 30 years of experience with research and development in the field of artificial intelligence. Customers using AI will be provided access to the Fujitsu Cloud Service K5 Zinrai Platform as early as this year, with the option to access results of the Fujitsu-1QBit collaboration through Zinrai.