Japanese company Fujitsu claims it has developed world’s fastest quantum computing simulator, which will play a key role in the development of quantum computing applications for future use. The company said, the simulator will be put to use right away for a joint research with Fujifilm to evaluate the role of quantum applications for computational chemistry.
Quantum simulators are software programs that use conventional computers to run and debug quantum programs and predict how qubits would react to different operations when they are run on an actual quantum computer.
Fujitsu’s quantum simulator will run on a cluster system with 64 nodes powered by the PRIMEHPC FC700 supercomputer, which uses the same CPU that drives the world’s fastest supercomputer Fugaku, which was jointly developed by Fujitsu and RIKEN Center for Computational Science.
According to Fujitsu, the new quantum simulator can handle 36 qubits (basic unit of quantum information) quantum circuits and can execute the quantum simulator software Qulacs in parallel at high speed. In addition to Qulacs, the simulator can also work with other quantum computing software such as Qiskit.
“Fujitsu has successfully developed the world’s fastest quantum simulator. We aim to leverage this new quantum simulator for our customers to accelerate the development of quantum applications and ultimately contribute to a sustainable world by solving a range of issues facing society,” Vivek Mahajan, corporate executive officer at Fujitsu said in a statement.
Fujitsu said its next goal is to launch a 40 qubit quantum simulator that can be used for drug discovery and finance by September 2022.
Several countries are exploring the use of quantum simulators. For instance, in August 2021, India launched its first quantum computer simulator toolkit, QSim, to help researchers and students undertake research in quantum computing in a cost-effective manner. To enable research on similar lines, supercomputers have been deployed at several technical institutes across India under the government of India’s National Supercomputer Mission (NSM).
Though major inroads have been made in the field of quantum computing in the form of Google’s Quantum supremacy and IBM’s 127 qubit-based chips, running and maintaining quantum hardware is expensive due to their design that includes a lot of expensive movable parts. Quantum simulators allow researchers to test and evaluate quantum applications using existing supercomputers and make them future-ready when quantum computers are widely available and not just in a handful of labs.
Unlike traditional computers that use familiar silicon-based chips, quantum computers use quantum systems and quantum properties such as superposition to represent bits 1 and 0 simultaneously. This is what allows quantum computers to solve complex problems in a fraction of time taken by traditional computers.