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Social Innovation in Southeast Asia

New Computer Can Quickly Solve Combinatorial Optimization Problems*

This new type of semiconductor computer is capable of high-speed processing of problems by simulating expression of the Ising model on the semiconductor circuit.

Finding combinations that offer total optimization is essential to solving large, complex social system issues, such as relieving urban traffic congestion, minimizing global logistics costs, and ensuring a stable energy supply with a next-generation power grid. A new computer prototype developed by Hitachi has capability comparable to a quantum computer and is able to quickly solve combinatorial optimization problems to find the best solution from a vast number of patterns (combinations) on the order of 1 trillion to the 500th power. Because the computer uses general-purpose semiconductors, it can also operate at room temperature without the cooling system quantum computers require.

The computer is also able to reduce power consumption with energy efficiency approximately 1,800 times higher than existing computers. Using the most advanced semiconductor process (14 nm) also enables the chips to be scaled to handle 16 million parameters. Using this technology, Hitachi is building a system to execute operations from individual optimization to total optimization that it will use to solve social infrastructure issues that are becoming increasing large and complex.

Problems where the goal is to find the best possible solution from among a set of solutions that satisfies the conditions, where the solutions have a combination structure like ordered sets and allocation.

  • Ising model

  • CMOS annealing

  • Release Date: August 12th 2015
  • Content By: Hitachi