Fixstars Amplify™ Quantum Computing Cloud Begins Service Offering Toshiba’s Quantum-Inspired Optimization Solution SQBM+™ on Standard Machines

November 28, 2023
Fixstars Amplify Corporation
Toshiba Digital Solutions Corporation

Fixstars Amplify Corporation (“Fixstars”) and Toshiba Digital Solutions Corporation (“Toshiba Digital Solutions”) have announced the integration of Toshiba Digital Solutions' quantum-inspired optimization solution, 'SQBM+,' into Fixstars Amplify, the quantum computing cloud service operated by Fixstars. This move ends the need for service users to contract with vendors for dedicated individual machines, and ensures much easier access to SQBM+ and its ability to quickly find solutions to large-scale combinatorial optimization problems.

The Fixstars Amplify cloud-based platform offers customers a software development kit (SDK) and an execution environment for Ising machines, specialized machines for solving combinatorial optimization problems1. The SDK is designed to realize quick and easy application development2, and is compatible with all available quantum annealing and Ising machines3, mathematical optimization solvers4, and gate-based quantum computers5.

Combinatorial optimization is the identification of optimal solutions from an enormous range of choices. Today, optimization software is increasingly used to quickly find such solutions, and is becoming an essential tool for addressing many of the problems facing society and industry, with applications in domains as diverse as financial decision-making, managing industrial robots, logistics and route planning, power grid optimization, and investigating drugs at the molecular level. 

SQBM+ is a powerful optimization solution, derived from the Simulated Bifurcation Machine (SBM), a combinatorial optimization solver built on the quantum-inspired6 Simulated Bifurcation Algorithm (SB Algorithm)7 developed by Toshiba Corporation8. It runs on standard computers and finds high-precision, approximate solutions (high-quality solutions) to complex, large-scale problems in a short time. 

Until now, customers who used SQBM+ as a solver with Fixstars Amplify had to set up individual execution environments for the SQBM+ service. Now it is installed on the standard machines of the Fixstars Amplify service as part of the service menu, and Fixstars Amplify provides single-point support for everything from user registration to contracts and service. Fixstars Amplify customers no longer need to prepare or manage an execution environment for the SQBM+ service, and can easily use SQBM+ in a cloud environment.

Shunsuke Okada, President and CEO of Toshiba Digital Solutions Corporation, welcomed the new service: “Quantum computing is starting to deliver notable results and achievements in optimization. The addition our quantum-inspired SQBM+ to the Fixstars Amplify quantum computing cloud service brings together two solutions that are attracting attention. I am very pleased to see an environment incorporating SQBM+ as a standard, one that allows everyone to easily utilize its powerful capabilities. I hope to see accelerated use of quantum technology in many fields, and its application in creating new industries, on the global scale.”

Takuji Hiraoka, President & CEO of Fixstars Amplify Corporation commented as follows:
“We are very pleased that Fixstars Amplify service has been selected as a partner for SQBM+. In an industry where research and technology development is constantly evolving, we believe it is important to provide practical solutions to uncover the problems our customers face and work with them to explore paths to solutions. We will appropriately combine quantum technology and current high-speed computing technology to further advance social implementation and make solutions to business challenges more affordable for our customers.”

SQBM+ as an optional Fixstars Amplify service starts at a monthly price of 300,000 yen (excluding tax), and it can be used immediately after purchase. Customers can also try out SQBM+ for free for one month with Fixstars Amplify's free trial plan. Click on the URL below for pricing details and to apply for the free plan. (Japanese)
* English pricing information in preparation.

By promoting the platform, Fixstars and Toshiba Digital Solutions will provide customers with a one-stop environment for exploring solutions to optimization problems that society faces.

About Toshiba Digital Solutions Corporation
Toshiba Digital Solutions Corporation is developing businesses globally which utilize digital and quantum technologies, such as IoT and artificial intelligence (AI), as the Toshiba Group company which handles digital solutions. By maximizing the power of various data generated in the wide range of business areas of the Toshiba Group and creating platforms, we will create a series of valuable services and contribute to achieving carbon neutrality and a circular economy.
Toshiba Digital Solutions will continue to create new value, together with our customers and partners, based on the Basic Commitment of the Toshiba Group: “Committed to People, Committed to the Future.”

About Fixstars Amplify Corporation
Fixstars Amplify is working on various issues in its quantum computing cloud business to become a bridge that connects cutting-edge technologies such as quantum computers and society. We will accelerate the path toward an optimized society by providing cloud services specializing in combinatorial optimization problems, system development services, and consulting.

1:    Combinatorial optimization problem: Problems found in industrial sectors as diverse as manufacturing, logistics, and finance that demand high computational capabilities to search for the optimal combination from among many possible combination patterns. For example, calculating optimal patterns for logistics transportation, manufacturing plans, etc., improve efficiency and the return on investment. A key characteristic is that the number of combination patterns increases rapidly with any increase in the number of variables and conditions to be considered.

2:    Fixstars Amplify automates the three steps of "logical model conversion," "physical model conversion" and "machine execution," thereby enabling a more intuitive workflow for quantum annealing programming.

3:    Quantum annealing and Ising machine
Ising machine: Hardware and software that solves combinatorial optimization problems that are converted into the form of the Ising model, a model in statistical mechanics that uses a lattice of spinning atoms to explain the behavior of a magnetic material.
Ising machines are sometimes called “annealers.” They are based on simulated annealing algorithms that were developed to use software to simulate and optimize annealing, a heat treatment process used to improve the properties of metals. The application of these algorithms in quantum systems to solve combinatorial optimization problems was, by extension, called “quantum annealing.”

4:    Solver: A software library that solves mathematical problems is called a solver.

5:    Gate-based quantum computer
A computer that uses quantum bits (qubits) to process information. It utilizes quantum superposition to handle multiple states simultaneously, which enhances computation parallelism and realizes the efficient resolution of massive computational problems. By leveraging quantum entanglement, it can also create correlations between multiple qubits, enabling the execution of advanced computations. By transforming the state of qubits by designing and developing quantum circuits (gates), gate-based quantum computers can be used for general purposes such as optimization, machine learning, and simulation.

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

7:    Toshiba's Breakthrough Algorithm Realizes World's Fastest, Largest-scale Combinatorial Optimization:

8:    Announcing the Launch of the Quantum-Inspired Optimization Solution SQBM+™:

  •  ”SQBM+” is a registered trademark or trademark of Toshiba Digital Solutions Corporation in Japan and other countries.
  • ”Fixstars Amplify” is a registered trademark or trademark of Fixstars Amplify Corporation in Japan and other countries.
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