Fujitsu Limited and 1QB Information Technologies Inc. are teaming up to apply quantum-inspired technology to AI. The companies will focus on the areas of combinatorial optimisation and machine learning. This collaboration is said to develop applications that address industry problems encountered in AI developed for quantum computers in both the Japanese and global markets.

The Fujitsu and 1QBit collaboration will enable software developed by 1QBit for quantum computers to run on a "digital annealer" jointly developed by Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd and the University of Toronto. A digital annealer is a computing architecture that can rapidly solve combinatorial optimisation problems using existing semiconductor technology.

Over the last four years, 1QBit has developed new methods for machine learning, sampling and optimisation based on reformulating problems to meet the unique requirements of interfacing with quantum computers. The company's research and software development teams have focused on solving sampling, optimisation, and machine learning problems to improve applications in industries including finance, energy, advanced materials, and the life sciences. The combination of Fujitsu's computer architecture and hardware technology, and 1QBit's software technology, will enable advances in machine learning to solve complicated, large-scale optimisation problems.

Fujitsu has systematised the technology and its experience with AI under the name of Zinrai, which has developed over the course of more than thirty years. The platform will support customers in using AI and will be available as the Fujitsu Cloud Service K5 Zinrai Platform Service. Fujitsu will offer the results of this collaboration as an option in the Fujitsu Cloud Service K5 Zinrai Platform Service Zinrai Deep Learning, a Zinrai cloud service, in 2017.

In the future, the two companies will provide a variety of services that combine 1QBit's software and expertise in building applications that benefit from the capabilities of quantum computers, with Fujitsu's hardware, its customer base—specifically in Japan—and its ICT capabilities, including AI. The partnership aims to contribute to the creation of new businesses and the transformation of existing businesses.