LHZ scheme unit cell (left) and diagram of scaled up architecture (right). Credit: NEC.

NEC has the goal of developing a quantum annealing processor by 2023 and will use an architecture called LHZ (named after the inventors Lechner, Hauke and Zoller) provided by ParityQC that will provide for a fully-connected architecture using superconducting parametron qubits. The LHZ unit cell has four qubits and a central coupling circuit which connects them together. This pattern can be replicated with multiple tiles as shown in the diagram above to connect together a larger number of cells. NEC will be using a 3D manufacturing process for building the device and connect it to external devices. NEC has created small structures using the LHZ cell and the 3D manufacturing process and is now working to scale these up to achieve a larger machine. NEC’s work to develop a quantum annealing machine has been funded by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), a Japanese government agency, as part of a Project for Innovative AI Chip and Next-Generation Computing Technology Development. Additional information about NEC’s progress in this project can be seen in a news release available on their web site here.

March 24, 2022