New Joint Research Agreement Reached to Explore High-Speed, Miniature CIM
Sunnyvale, Calif. – January 25, 2021 – NTT Research, Inc., a division of NTT (TYO:9432), today announced a collaboration to develop a high-speed Coherent Ising Machine (CIM). The NTT Research Physics & Informatics (PHI) Lab will be paired with Caltech’s Department of Applied Physics and Materials Science with the goal of developing and demonstrating the world’s fastest CIM. The principal investigator at Caltech for this four-and-a-half-year joint project is Kerry Vahala, the Jenkins Professor of Information Science and Technology and Applied Physics and Executive Officer for the department of Applied Physics and Materials Science. Professor Vahala has pioneered the use of nonlinear optics in high-Q optical micro-resonators. Leading this effort at NTT Research is PHI Lab Research Scientist, Dr. Myoung-Gyun Suh, an expert in on-chip optical sources and their application to precision measurements.
A CIM is a network of optical parametric oscillators (OPOs) programmed to solve problems that have been mapped to an Ising model, which is a mathematical abstraction of magnetic systems composed of competitively interacting spins, or angular momentums of fundamental particles. The CIM is particularly suited to combinatorial optimization problems that are beyond the capabilities of current computer processors to solve. NTT Research and Caltech will jointly develop a high-speed, miniature CIM, consisting of an on-chip 100 GHz pulsed pump laser source and on-chip parametric oscillator device.
“We are delighted at the prospect of working with Professor Vahala to develop an extremely small and high-speed CIM,” said NTT Research PHI Lab Director, Yoshihisa Yamamoto. “This work will advance our understanding of the CIM’s capabilities, map well with ongoing and related work with other institutions, provide new demonstrations of this awesomely powerful new information system and, we hope, set standards for the CIM’s speed and size.”
The agreement identifies research subjects and project milestones between 2020 and 2025. It anticipates that the Vahala group will develop the pump laser at Caltech, while collaborating with Dr. Suh and his team at NTT Research, who will be focused on the OPO. Professor Vahala and Caltech Department of Applied Physics and Materials Science are known for their precision optical work at the microchip level. Caltech was recently recognized for its contribution to the 2-Photon Optical Clock Collaboration, a multi-institution project that won the OSA’s 2020 Paul F. Forman Team Engineering Excellence Award.
The NTT Research PHI Lab has now reached ten joint research projects as part of its long-range goal to radically redesign artificial computers, both classical and quantum. To advance that goal, the PHI Lab has established joint research agreements with seven universities, one government agency and quantum computing software company. This is the second joint research agreement with Caltech. The other institutions of higher education are Cornell University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford University, Swinburne University of Technology, the University of Michigan and the University of Notre Dame. The government entity is NASA Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, and the private company is 1QBit. In addition to its PHI Lab, NTT Research has two other divisions: its Cryptography & Information Security (CIS) Lab, and Medical & Health Informatics (MEI) Lab.
About NTT Research
NTT Research opened its offices in July 2019 as a new Silicon Valley startup to conduct basic research and advance technologies that promote positive change for humankind. Currently, three labs are housed at NTT Research facilities in Sunnyvale: the Physics and Informatics (PHI) Lab, the Cryptography and Information Security (CIS) Lab, and the Medical and Health Informatics (MEI) Lab. The organization aims to upgrade reality in three areas: 1) quantum information, neuro-science and photonics; 2) cryptographic and information security; and 3) medical and health informatics. NTT Research is part of NTT, a global technology and business solutions provider with an annual R&D budget of $3.6 billion.
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