News facts: * Fujitsu's second-generation quantum-inspired Digital Annealer opens doors to previously impossible levels of business and societal problem-solving. * Enables disruptive innovation by solving complex combinatorial optimisation problems, deployable anywhere from edge to cloud. * Among numerous use cases, the Digital Annealer is ideal for production optimisations, minimising traffic congestion and optimising investment portfolios to minimise risk and meet regulatory demands for financial services.
The second-generation Fujitsu Digital Annealer (http://www.fujitsu.com/global/digitalannealer/) is now enabling organisations to make a rapid and affordable leap to solve complex combinatorial optimisation problems, enabling breakthroughs in areas such as optimising manufacturing processes, minimising traffic congestion and enabling financial services providers to align investment portfolios against ever-changing risk landscapes.
Powered by pioneering quantum-inspired technology1, the Fujitsu Digital Annealer delivers unprecedented disruptive new solutions, including prioritising roll-out locations for next-generation mobile networks to maximise customer uptake, drug discovery and molecular simulations.
Dr Joseph Reger, Fujitsu Fellow and Chief Technology Officer CE and EMEIA at Fujitsu, comments: "Our ultimate aim is to help customers and society as a whole to solve ever-larger and more complex challenges. As Moore's Law seems to slow down, there's a compute deficit which is threatening to slow down the pace of progress. Fujitsu is addressing that with the Digital Annealer, which enables an entirely different approach to finding solutions, inspired by quantum computing's simultaneous processing capabilities. The key difference compared to traditional computing is that the Digital Annealer can tackle complex combinatorial problems by comparing thousands of possible results at the same time, rather than in sequence." The Digital Annealer's unparalleled compute power can be deployed as a cloud-hosted or on-premises service solution2, depending on customer preference. It integrates seamlessly into standard data centre operating environments, without the need for complex infrastructure required by regular quantum computers3, which are energy-intensive and need expensive cooling systems running at near absolute-zero temperatures.
Digital Annealer rapidly solves complex combinatorial problems Unique simultaneous data-processing capabilities allow the Fujitsu Digital Annealer to instantly find the optimal combination of massively complex, previously unmanageable data variables. For example, choosing the most valuable combination of 40 from 100 items to be put in a backpack for a trek could result in a number of possibilities, exceeding one million times the number of stars in the universe4. With the Digital Annealer, the problem can be solved in less than one second.
However, even this representation of a complex combinatorial problem does not meet the complexity of the types of business challenges the Digital Annealer is designed to handle, which go way beyond what conventional computing can do. One example of a business application is for a bank to optimise a delivery round of money to ATM cashpoint machines, prioritised by amount. The Fujitsu Digital Annealer can instantly work out which ATMs a particular driver should visit, calculate the optimal route to take, while simultaneously suggesting how much to deposit in each machine.
Digital Annealer finds near-instant answers to business challenges The Fujitsu Digital Annealer is already delivering huge benefits to customers in multiple industries. In financial services, NatWest bank (http://www.fujitsu.com/fts/about/resources/news/press-releases/2018/emeai-20181002-fujitsu-drives-quantum-inspired-project-to.html) is leveraging the technology to optimise its mix of liquid assets. The Digital Annealer has enabled the bank to complete highly complex calculations significantly faster than traditional systems, with an even higher degree of accuracy5. As a result, NatWest has been able to identify new, profitable investment opportunities while achieving full regulatory risk compliance and at the same time helping to reduce the risk of human error.
In the automotive industry, Fujitsu is working with several leading global manufacturers to trial the Digital Annealer in use cases that include streamlining of shop floor job scheduling, enhancing smart mobility services and refining car design to reduce noise while driving. Furthermore, for a recent reorganisation of Fujitsu's own warehousing, the Digital Annealer recommended optimised routing and stock placement. This reduced the distance travelled to collect items by 45% (http://www.fujitsu.com/global/digitalannealer/case-studies/201804-fjit/), resulting in significant time and cost savings.
According to Fujitsu's Reger: "With the availability of the second-generation Digital Annealer, we are enabling customers to answer increasingly complex ‘what if?' questions, by adding more variables and working at greater precision to tackle problems that traditional computers simply cannot solve because of the exponential increase in the number of possible combinations. And unlike true quantum computing, which is still far from being commercially viable, since it is prohibitively expensive and requires cryogenic cooling, the benefits of the Digital Annealer are already available to organisations across all sectors today, whenever and however they want to disrupt, revolutionise, streamline or simply optimise businesses processes." Proof of concept services enable customers to get started immediately Fujitsu's co-creation services enable customers to immediately put the Digital Annealer to work, providing expertise and support in identifying and addressing challenges where a solution was previously never thought possible or practical. Fujitsu also supports in integrating the Digital Annealer into production environments.
Pricing and availability The Digital Annealer is available as a service on a subscription basis, including technical and consulting services, support and optional additional consultancy for solution development. It can be deployed as a cloud-hosted or on-premises service. The second generation of Fujitsu's Digital Annealer is available to customers for proof of concepts, with general availability scheduled for April 2019.
Notes to editors 1 The power behind the Digital Annealer lies in Fujitsu's Digital Annealing Unit (DAU), a processor that leverages innovations in ultra high-density circuit integration and high-performance processing. The groundbreaking architecture is inspired by the key characteristics of quantum computing: superposition, quantum tunnelling and entanglement, enabling the Digital Annealer to evaluate multiple potential options simultaneously, delivering lightning-fast insights. The first generation of Digital Annealer remains a unique and viable solution to many complex combinatory problems needing rapid, practical solutions. The second-generation Digital Annealer expands the scale of problems that can be solved from the 1 024 bits of the first generation, launched in May 2018 (http://www.fujitsu.com/global/about/resources/news/press-releases/2018/0515-01.html), to 8 192 bits and an increase in computational precision. This leads to substantial gains in precision and performance for enhanced problem-solving and new applications, expanding by a factor of 100 the complexity that the second-generation Digital Annealer can tackle now.
2 The Digital Annealer is provided as a service by Fujitsu. Industry-standard APIs (application programming interfaces) are part of a cloud service, along with comprehensive integration and support services to complement the Digital Annealer architecture, enabling businesses to spend more time innovating rather than integrating new technology.
3 The Digital Annealer operates at room temperature, in comparison to the near absolute-zero (-273.15°C) environment that is required for regular quantum computing solutions, which therefore require more energy in power and cooling.
4 Single items have interdependencies. For example, as a standalone item, a box of nails has a low value, but this increases when combined with a hammer. The number of stars is assumed as being 1022.
5 This figure is based on optimising an HQLA portfolio using both traditional techniques on a conventional cloud service and the Digital Annealer.
Online resources * Webpage http://www.fujitsu.com/global/digitalannealer (http://www.fujitsu.com/global/digitalannealer/)/ (http://www.fujitsu.com/global/digitalannealer/) * Brochure http://www.fujitsu.com/global/digitalannealer/pdf/da-brochure.pdf (http://www.fujitsu.com/global/digitalannealer/pdf/da-brochure.pdf) * Video: From Acoustic Design to Shop Floor Optimisation Digital Annealer www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdX6NRjAuVE (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdX6NRjAuVE) * Read the Fujitsu blog: http://blog.ts.fujitsu.com (http://blog.ts.fujitsu.com) * Follow Fujitsu on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Fujitsu_Global (http://www.twitter.com/Fujitsu_Global) * Follow us on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/fujitsu (http://www.linkedin.com/company/fujitsu) * Find Fujitsu on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FujitsuICT (http://www.facebook.com/FujitsuICT) * Fujitsu pictures and media server: http://mediaportal.ts.fujitsu.com/pages/portal.php (http://mediaportal.ts.fujitsu.com/pages/portal.php) * For regular news updates, bookmark the Fujitsu newsroom: http://ts.fujitsu.com/ps2/nr/index.aspx (http://ts.fujitsu.com/ps2/nr/index.aspx)
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