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Tohoku University Cyberscience Center and NEC Strengthen Efforts to Promote Quantum Annealing Research for Human Resource Development

Tokyo, July 15, 2021 - Tohoku University's Cyberscience Center (Tohoku University) and NEC Corporation (NEC) will strengthen their efforts to promote research on quantum annealing, an important aspect in the development of quantum computers. Beginning in August 2021, NEC will provide Tohoku University with an evaluation version of simulated annealing software that NEC is researching and developing. Moreover, Tohoku University will commence a simulated annealing service for researchers both inside and outside of the university in conjunction with the AOBA supercomputer. Tohoku University will be the first university in Japan (Note 1) to provide quantum-inspired simulated annealing services.

This simulated annealing software incorporates NEC's proprietary algorithms suitable for quantum annealing processing, which is being researched and developed by NEC, and operates on NEC’s vector-type supercomputer, the "SX-Aurora TSUBASA" (Note 2). NEC's proprietary algorithms are able to intensively search for conditions that satisfy the requirements for solving combinatorial optimization problems, and by operating on the SX-Aurora TSUBASA, processing can be carried out at ultra-high speed.

Quantum computing is expected to contribute to the rapid resolution of increasingly complex social issues that could not be solved in the past, and in line with this, the development of human resources that can utilize quantum computing is becoming increasingly important. Tohoku University and NEC are aiming to accelerate the cultivation of students and researchers by providing users of the Cyberscience Center of Tohoku University with a demonstration environment that supports quantum computing, thereby contributing to the solution of various social issues by advancing the utilization of quantum computing.

The Tohoku University Cyberscience Center develops and operates a high-performance computing system as a research facility for joint use nationwide, and promotes education and research on the creation of new science (cyberscience) utilizing advanced academic information infrastructure. The Center has gained enthusiastic support from users throughout Japan by developing and operating vector-type supercomputers with an emphasis on performance (execution performance) during actual use. The AOBA supercomputer introduced in October 2020, for example, is based on NEC's SX-Aurora TSUBASA, and is expected to expand its range of applications to fields such as data-driven science and AI, including practical scientific and technological computing.


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