Announcing the Launch of Cloud Service
for the Quantum-Inspired Optimization Solution SQBM+™

—Release of SQBM+ Cloud on Azure Quantum on the Microsoft Azure Cloud Platform—

June 6, 2022
Toshiba Digital Solutions Corporation

KAWASAKI―Toshiba Digital Solutions Corporation (headquarters: Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture; President: Shunsuke Okada; hereinafter, “TDSL”) launched the SQBM+ cloud service “SQBM+ Cloud on Azure Quantum” for Azure Quantum, a full-stack open cloud quantum computing ecosystem published by Microsoft Corporation.

SQBM+ is a quantum-inspired1 optimization solution2 based on the Simulated Bifurcation Machine (hereinafter, “SBM”) that is a combinatorial optimization solver utilizing the Simulated Bifurcation Algorithm (hereinafter, “SB Algorithm”)3 developed by Toshiba Corporation.

In September 2020, TDSL joined Azure Quantum - an ecosystem through which Microsoft and trusted Microsoft partners offer a variety of quantum solutions. From today, Azure Quantum customers will also be able to access TDSL’s SQBM+ solution, which is available as “SQBM+ Cloud on Azure Quantum”.

For many social and industrial challenges, combinatorial optimization is essential for selecting the optimal items from an enormous range of choices; for example, optimizing financial transactions4, the movement of industrial robots, travel and transmission routes, and molecular design for drug discovery. When using existing computers, combinatorial optimization is difficult to solve at high speeds because the number of combination patterns increases exponentially as the scale of the problem grows. For this reason, specialized combinatorial optimization computers are being actively developed in Japan and overseas.

The core technology of SQBM+ is SBM, which is software that utilizes existing computers and achieves high-precision approximate solutions (good solutions) for complex and large-scale problems to be obtained in a short time. Providing SBM in the Azure Quantum cloud service will enable application of SBM to actual problems in the familiar Azure environment by customers who seek to solve combinatorial optimization problems in a variety of fields including finance, drug discovery, genetic engineering, logistics, and AI.


Features of “SQBM+ Cloud on Azure Quantum”
1. Service provided on Azure Quantum
Azure Quantum is a Microsoft Azure cloud service for solving combinatorial optimization problems by executing a quantum computing program. SQBM+ is positioned as an optimization solution provided on Azure Quantum.

Quantum cloud solutions that can be used on Azure Quantum (Source: Microsoft)

2. Cloud service that is easy to introduce
“SQBM+ Cloud on Azure Quantum” is a cloud service of Azure.

  • Can be used immediately if you have an Azure account.
  • SQBM+ Cloud on Azure Quantum uses a pay-as-you-go billing system depending on calculation time.

3. SBM adopting a new algorithm5
SBM adopting a new algorithm that greatly improves speed, accuracy, and scale can be used in Azure cloud service.
The features6 of SBM are utilized to provide an Ising solver7 capable of handling Ising problems with up to 100,000 variables. 

  • Ballistic Simulated Bifurcation Algorithm (bSB): A high-speed algorithm for finding a good solution in a short time.8
  • Discrete Simulated Bifurcation Algorithm (dSB): A high-accuracy algorithm for finding more accurate solutions at a calculation speed that surpasses that of other machines.9
  • SQBM+ includes a function that automatically selects and uses one of the two algorithms listed above.

Price for “SQBM+ Cloud on Azure Quantum”
Two price plans are offered for “SQBM+ Cloud on Azure Quantum”: “Learn & Development,” which is limited to use for learning and development, and “Performance at scale,” which is available for commercial use.

Plan Price Per Month
Price according to computing time (billed in units of seconds)
Learn & Development
Limited to use for learning and development;
maximum of 1 hour
0 to 0.1 hour - Free
0.1 to 1 hour - $200 per hour
Performance at scale 0 to 5 hours - $1,800 per hour
5 to 25 hours  - $1,600 per hour
25 to 50 hours - $1,400 per hour
50 hours or more    - $1,000 per hour

“SQBM+ Cloud on Azure Quantum” is available for purchase on Microsoft’s commercial marketplace Azure Marketplace.

Moving forward, TDSL also plans to provide on-premises versions depending on customers’ needs, to offer professional services for supporting introduction by customers, and to enhance our lineup of SQBM+ products. 

A new classical mechanical method derived from or directly inspired by a calculation method based on the principles of quantum mechanics. Also known as “pseudo-quantum.”

Toshiba Digital Solutions Press Release(March 2022): Announcing the Launch of the Quantum-Inspired Optimization Solution SQBM+™:

Toshiba Press Release (April 2019): Toshiba's Breakthrough Algorithm Realizes World's Fastest, Largest-scale Combinatorial Optimization:
H. Goto et al., Science Advances 5, eaav2372 (2019):

Toshiba Press Release (October 2019): Toshiba Develops Proof-of-concept Device for Ultra-high-speed Financial Transaction Machine with Simulated Bifurcation Algorithm:
(May 2021): Toshiba and Dharma Capital’s Joint Experiment in Financial Markets to Verify the Effectiveness of a Quasi-Quantum Computer When Applied to High Frequency Trading:

Toshiba Press Release (February 2021): Toshiba’s New Algorithms Quickly Deliver Highly Accurate Solutions to Complex Problems -Breaks the limitations of classical mechanics by introducing a quasi-quantum effect Expected to accelerate complex problem-solving in finance, pharmaceuticals and logistics.- :
H. Goto et al., Science Advances 7, eabe7953 (2021):

A solver for quadratic unconstrained binary optimization problems based on the Ising model (a model in statistical mechanics that explains the magnetization behavior of a magnetic material by a lattice of spinning atoms).

ballistic Simulated Bifurcation (bSB). Given this name because its mechanical behavior is ballistic.
A machine with bSB mounted on a digital computer is called a “bSB Machine (bSBM).”

Discrete Simulated Bifurcation (dSB). Given this name because it replaces continuous values with discrete values in the equation of motion.
A machine in which dSB is mounted on a digital computer is called “dSB Machine (dSBM).”

  • ”SQBM+” is a registered trademark or trademark of Toshiba Digital Solutions Corporation in Japan and other countries.
  • Microsoft” and “Azure” are registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other countries.
  • In addition, the company names and product names described in this text may be used as trademarks or registered trademarks by the respective companies.
  • Information in the News Release, including content of service, product prices, specifications, related links and contact information, is current on the date of the News Release, but is subject to change without prior notice.