200x boost for quantum computing

200x boost for quantum computing

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

Fujitsu has developed a technique that can boost the performance of quantum computers by 200x.

Fujitsu describes the parallel implantation as a breakthrough for quantum simulator technology that can speed up quantum-classical hybrid algorithms.

For quantum circuit computations using conventional quantum and classical hybrid algorithms, the number of times of quantum circuit computation increases depending on the scale of the problem to be solved. Larger-scale problems that require many qubits, including simulations in the materials and drug discovery fields, may even require several hundred days.

The newly developed technology enables simultaneous processing of a large number of repetitively executed quantum circuit computations distributed among multiple groups. Fujitsu has also devised a way to simplify problems on a large scale with less loss of accuracy by using one of the world’s largest-scale quantum simulators it has developed.

Fujitsu has made it possible to perform computations on a quantum simulator in just one day, which would take an estimated 200 days to complete with conventional methods. As a result, it is now possible to complete simulations of large-scale quantum computation within a realistic timeframe.

Fujitsu plans to incorporate this technology into its hybrid quantum computing platform to accelerate research into the practical application of quantum computers in various fields and accelerate quantum circuit computations on actual quantum computers.

The company is working with the Riken research centre on a hybrid quantum supercomputer with 1000 qubits.

By applying Variational Quantum Eigensolver (VQE), a typical NISQ algorithm, Fujitsu has developed a quantum simulator for quantum application development and has been working to speed up quantum circuit computation itself. However, in VQE, the number of iterations of quantum circuit computation increases as the size of the problem increases, so it takes a very long time to perform computation, especially for large problems requiring many qubits, and it is estimated that it takes several 100 days for a quantum simulator. Therefore, it was difficult to develop quantum algorithms for practical use.

For parameter optimization of quantum circuits by classical computers, it is necessary to prepare a large number of quantum circuits with small changes in parameters, perform quantum circuit computation for all of them sequentially, and derive the optimal parameters from the results. This requires considerable time for computation, especially for larger-scale problems. Increasing the number of nodes simply to speed up circuit computation has conventionally been limited by communication overhead, and new technologies were required.

Fujitsu has developed a distributed processing technology that enables each group to execute different quantum circuits by dividing the computation nodes of the quantum simulator into multiple groups and using a remote procedure call (RPC) to submit quantum circuit computation jobs through the network. Using this technology, multiple quantum circuits with different parameters can be simultaneously distributed and calculated, and the computation time can be reduced to 1/70th of the conventional technology.

In addition, since the computation quantity in the quantum-classical hybrid algorithm is proportional to the number of terms in the equation of the problem to be solved, and the number of terms is the fourth power of the number of qubits in the general VQE, the computation quantity increases as the problem scale increases.

By combining these two technologies, Fujitsu was able to demonstrate distributed processing of 1024 compute nodes into 8 groups for a 32 qubit problem. This achieved a quantum simulation run time of 32 qubits in one day, compared to the previous estimate of 200 days.

“We are investigating the application of quantum computers to materials development. Among them, the use of VQE in NISQ devices is an essential consideration. We expect that this acceleration technology will greatly speed up the principle verification of the VQE algorithm,” said Yukihiro Okuno, Senior Research Scientist, Analysis Technology Centre at Fujifilm.

“We are studying the use of VQE to calculate the energy of molecules related to semiconductor materials, to predict the electronic structure and physical properties of specific materials, and to optimize chemical reactions in semiconductor manufacturing processes. We hope that accelerating this process will enable us to quickly verify the principle and effectiveness of the VQE algorithm and discover its usefulness,” said Tsuyoshi Moriya, Vice President, Digital Design Center, Tokyo Electron.




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