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Fujitsu Laboratories and University of Toronto Enter Strategic Partnership

September 20, 2017

Fujitsu Laboratories establishes new research center in Toronto to accelerate Quantum-Inspired Computing

Toron­to, ON – Kawasa­ki, Japan and Toron­to, Cana­da, Sep­tem­ber 20, 2017 Fujit­su Lab­o­ra­to­ries Ltd. and the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to have entered into a new part­ner­ship, with Fujit­su Lab­o­ra­to­ries estab­lish­ing a new research cen­ter in Toron­to focused on bol­ster­ing R&D into break­through quan­tum com­put­ing tech­nolo­gies. In a wide vari­ety of fields, includ­ing health­care, finance, logis­tics, pub­lic pol­i­cy, there exists an enor­mous amount of extra­or­di­nar­i­ly com­plex prob­lems that require rapid deci­sion mak­ing, yet can­not be solved in a real­is­tic time-frame with cur­rent com­put­ing tech­nolo­gies. To address these issues, it is nec­es­sary to devel­op both rev­o­lu­tion­ary new com­put­ing tech­nolo­gies, and the soft­ware need­ed to apply these tech­nolo­gies in soci­ety. By enter­ing into this strate­gic part­ner­ship, Fujit­su Lab­o­ra­to­ries and the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to aim to accel­er­ate the prac­ti­cal use of quan­tum com­put­ing tech­nolo­gies for high-speed solu­tions to dif­fi­cult real-world issues by fur­ther devel­op­ing the tech­nolo­gies that they have been cul­ti­vat­ing until now. Along with the devel­op­ment of increas­ing­ly inno­v­a­tive com­put­ing tech­nolo­gies in the future, both will fur­ther con­tribute to find­ing solu­tions to glob­al social, eco­nom­ic, and indus­tri­al issues.

Back­ground to col­lab­o­ra­tion

Fujit­su Lab­o­ra­to­ries and the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to have been build­ing a close rela­tion­ship in research work for com­put­ing per­for­mance improve­ment for over eigh­teen years. Now, Fujit­su Lab­o­ra­to­ries’ research cen­ter will be built in Toron­to, a fit­ting loca­tion for the ver­i­fi­ca­tion of the accom­plish­ments of cut­ting-edge research, deliv­er­ing a mutu­al­ly ben­e­fi­cial out­come that will take coop­er­a­tion between Fujit­su and the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to to an even greater lev­el. While con­tin­u­ing to pro­mote this research, both teams will inte­grate their world-class insights and research and devel­op­ment capabilities–in which they excel–with a core focus on quan­tum com­put­ing mov­ing for­ward, and expand their fields of research.

Strengths of Fujit­su Lab­o­ra­to­ries

The era of Arti­fi­cial Intel­li­gence is in full swing, and Fujit­su Lab­o­ra­to­ries has tak­en note. It is pro­mot­ing the devel­op­ment of domain-spe­cif­ic computing,(1) which is a com­put­ing tech­nol­o­gy that demon­strates the per­for­mance opti­mized to each spe­cif­ic field of a tar­get issue, as a part of a research strat­e­gy that includes not only soft­ware but also archi­tec­ture and hard­ware. Fujit­su has also devel­oped Dig­i­tal Annealer,(2) which is a new archi­tec­ture that rivals cur­rent quan­tum com­put­ers in han­dling an array of real-world issues, while lead­ing the devel­op­ment of advanced tech­nolo­gies in fields requir­ing quan­tum com­put­ing tech­nolo­gies.

Strengths of Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to is among the world’s top ranked research uni­ver­si­ties with inter­na­tion­al­ly rec­og­nized strengths in quan­tum-inspired com­put­ing and arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence, such as the Cen­tre for Quan­tum Infor­ma­tion and Quan­tum Com­put­ing (CQIQC) and the new­ly estab­lished inde­pen­dent Vec­tor Insti­tute for Arti­fi­cial Intel­li­gence, which the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to helped cre­ate. This year, QS ranked the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to 10th in the world in the field of Com­put­er Sci­ence and Infor­ma­tion Sys­tems and 34th in the field of Engi­neer­ing and Tech­nol­o­gy, while the inde­pen­dent Shang­hai Rank­ing Con­sul­tan­cy placed U of T 13th glob­al­ly in the field of Com­put­er Sci­ence and Engi­neer­ing. The Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to also has world-class researchers work­ing in health­care, biol­o­gy, finance, secu­ri­ty, as well as in facil­i­tat­ing the appli­ca­tion of engi­neer­ing tech­nolo­gies with­in soci­ety.

Back­ground of the tech­nolo­gies

There are many real-world prob­lems which can­not be han­dled by cur­rent com­put­ing tech­nolo­gies on a prac­ti­cal lev­el. This includes cas­es such as those that require com­pli­cat­ed deci­sion-mak­ing and have been per­formed by humans until now, or those in which opti­mal com­bi­na­tions of data are select­ed from large amounts of input data for learn­ing. Next, there is the amount of com­pu­ta­tion, which in cas­es that lead to opti­mal solu­tions with regard to var­i­ous fac­tors, increas­es expo­nen­tial­ly in line with the num­ber of those fac­tors. For instance, in prob­lems where the opti­mal com­bi­na­tion is select­ed, if the num­ber of ele­ments increas­es by just one hun­dred, the num­ber of pos­si­ble com­bi­na­tions becomes more than one quadrillion times 10 to the 15th pow­er. This type of prob­lem proves chal­leng­ing to cur­rent com­put­ers. At the same time, real-world prob­lems, like the opti­miza­tion of invest­ment port­fo­lios and logis­tics, or enact­ing an indus­tri­al pol­i­cy that ade­quate­ly deals with glob­al envi­ron­men­tal prob­lems, are becom­ing increas­ing­ly com­plex and demand the rapid dis­cov­ery of solu­tions. The devel­op­ment of new com­put­ing tech­nolo­gies is desired in order to meet these demands.

Overview of the col­lab­o­ra­tive research

Fujit­su Lab­o­ra­to­ries and the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to will begin by enhanc­ing Dig­i­tal Anneal­er that they have both devel­oped, and expand its applic­a­ble scope and func­tion to a lev­el that allows it to han­dle a wide vari­ety of real-world issues. At the same time, lever­ag­ing the advanced aca­d­e­m­ic research exper­tise of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to, Fujit­su Lab­o­ra­to­ries and the uni­ver­si­ty will joint­ly devel­op appli­ca­tion soft­ware that can be applied to prob­lems in such real world fields as health­care and finance, and there­by accel­er­ate the prac­ti­cal use of this tech­nol­o­gy.

One of the prob­lems the part­ners will tack­le mov­ing for­ward is the opti­miza­tion of dos­es in radio­ther­a­py for can­cer. In order to deliv­er suf­fi­cient radi­a­tion to can­cer tis­sue while keep­ing radi­a­tion dos­es at lev­els safe for nor­mal tis­sue based on CT images, a large num­ber of opti­miza­tion cal­cu­la­tions must be per­fromed. Because the patient must stay still dur­ing cal­cu­la­tion, the cal­cu­la­tion time is lim­it­ed to sev­er­al min­utes. Mak­ing pos­si­ble opti­miza­tion cal­cu­la­tions that can be per­formed in a short amount of time with high accu­ra­cy will alle­vi­ate the phys­i­cal bur­den on the patient while main­tain­ing their safe­ty through the improve­ment of the treat­men­t’s effec­tive­ness and short­ened dura­tion of the treat­ment. Radio­ther­a­py tech­nol­o­gy could be trans­formed by expand­ing on Dig­i­tal Anneal­er and devel­op­ing appli­ca­tion soft­ware that can make com­pu­ta­tions with­in min­utes. By pro­ceed­ing with this kind of ini­tia­tive, Fujit­su Lab­o­ra­to­ries and the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to will fur­ther devel­op Dig­i­tal Anneal­er, and expand its imple­men­ta­tion in the real world.

In addi­tion, to deep­en close coop­er­a­tion between researchers of both orga­ni­za­tions, Fujit­su Lab­o­ra­to­ries and the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to will work as a dri­ving force for cre­at­ing a knowl­edge ecosys­tem of inno­v­a­tive com­put­ing tech­nolo­gies in Toron­to and North Amer­i­ca, con­tribut­ing to the gen­er­a­tion of new infor­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nol­o­gy (ICT) busi­ness and the devel­op­ment of soci­ety and the econ­o­my.

Remarks by Shigeru Sasa­ki, CEO, Fujit­su Lab­o­ra­to­ries Ltd.

Fujit­su Lab­o­ra­to­ries has been con­tin­u­ous­ly lead­ing the devel­op­ment of advanced tech­nol­o­gy in the field of ICT. We feel there is great impor­tance in strength­en­ing our ties with the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to, whose excep­tion­al­ly tal­ent­ed peo­ple have achieved pre­em­i­nent results in research not only in the field of com­put­ing but also health­care, finance and oth­er fields. I believe that by con­tin­u­ous­ly pre­sent­ing the results of our ground­break­ing com­put­ing research to the world-includ­ing our quan­tum-inspired com­put­ing tech­nol­o­gy and beyond-the val­ue of our tech­nolo­gies like AI and cloud com­put­ing will increase even fur­ther, and allow us to expand our busi­ness. This in turn will fur­ther advance the human-cen­tric inno­va­tion that the Fujit­su Group pro­motes, and lead to the cre­ation of a human-friend­ly and pros­per­ous soci­ety, while con­tribut­ing to social and eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment.

Remarks by Mer­ic Gertler, Pres­i­dent, Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to is incred­i­bly proud of its asso­ci­a­tion with Fujit­su Lab­o­ra­to­ries, and we look for­ward to the great things we will accom­plish togeth­er in the years to come. The strate­gic part­ner­ship we’re embark­ing on today will strength­en and expand our col­lab­o­ra­tion, in con­cert with the estab­lish­ment of Fujit­su Lab­o­ra­to­ries’ new research cen­ter in Toron­to. It will accel­er­ate our efforts to devel­op prac­ti­cal quan­tum-inspired com­put­ing tech­nolo­gies, and it will help us meet a vast range of social, eco­nom­ic, and indus­tri­al chal­lenges in the 21st cen­tu­ry.

[1] Domain-spe­cif­ic com­put­ing

A com­put­ing tech­nol­o­gy which dra­mat­i­cal­ly improves com­put­ing per­for­mance using a hard­ware con­fig­u­ra­tion opti­mized for one par­tic­u­lar appli­ca­tion domain along with soft­ware opti­mized for key func­tions [Fujit­su Devel­ops Tech­nol­o­gy for Instan­ta­neous Search­es of a Tar­get Image from a Mas­sive Vol­ume of Images]–1.html

[2] Dig­i­tal Anneal­er

A com­put­ing archi­tec­ture joint­ly devel­oped by Fujit­su Lab­o­ra­to­ries and the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to, which can rapid­ly solve com­bi­na­to­r­i­al opti­miza­tion prob­lems using exist­ing semi­con­duc­tor tech­nol­o­gy [Fujit­su Lab­o­ra­to­ries Devel­ops New Archi­tec­ture that Rivals Quan­tum Com­put­ers in Util­i­ty]–1.html

About Fujit­su

Fujit­su is the lead­ing Japan­ese infor­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nol­o­gy (ICT) com­pa­ny offer­ing a full range of tech­nol­o­gy prod­ucts, solu­tions and ser­vices. Approx­i­mate­ly 155,000 Fujit­su peo­ple sup­port cus­tomers in more than 100 coun­tries. We use our expe­ri­ence and the pow­er of ICT to shape the future of soci­ety with our cus­tomers. Fujit­su Lim­it­ed (TSE: 6702) report­ed con­sol­i­dat­ed rev­enues of 4.5 tril­lion yen (US$40 bil­lion) for the fis­cal year end­ed March 31, 2017. For more infor­ma­tion, please see

About Fujit­su Lab­o­ra­to­ries

Found­ed in 1968 as a whol­ly owned sub­sidiary of Fujit­su Lim­it­ed, Fujit­su Lab­o­ra­to­ries Ltd. is one of the pre­mier research cen­ters in the world. With a glob­al net­work of lab­o­ra­to­ries in Japan, Chi­na, the Unit­ed States and Europe, the orga­ni­za­tion con­ducts a wide range of basic and applied research in the areas of Next-gen­er­a­tion Ser­vices, Com­put­er Servers, Net­works, Elec­tron­ic Devices and Advanced Mate­ri­als. For more infor­ma­tion, please see:

About the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to

Found­ed in 1827, the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to has evolved into Canada’s lead­ing insti­tu­tion of learn­ing, dis­cov­ery and knowl­edge cre­ation. We are proud to be one of the world’s top research-inten­sive uni­ver­si­ties, dri­ven to invent and inno­vate. The uni­ver­si­ty offers 700 pro­grams of study at its three cam­pus­es in the Greater Toron­to Area and has full affil­i­a­tions with nine teach­ing and research hos­pi­tals. For more infor­ma­tion, vis­it

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