CYCU Supports the Development of “Quantum Technology” and Collaborates to Develop the “Digital Annealing Algorithm”

The National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) held a press conference on academic achievements on May 2nd, announcing that, with the support of NSTC, Professor Zhang Qingrui of Chung Yuan Christian University, Ph.D. candidate Zhuo Jianhong of National Taiwan University, Formosa Plastics Corporation, and the Institute for Information Industry have jointly conducted industry-academia collaborative research. They successfully developed a digital annealing algorithm using Fujitsu’s digital annealing hardware, which has shown significant acceleration effects in compound synthesis and the discovery of new compounds for the industry. This achievement was also featured on the cover of an international journal.

The primary purpose of digital annealing is to attempt to solve complex problems that traditional computing takes too long to handle, especially before quantum computers mature enough for practical computation. The team, consisting of experts from Chung Yuan Christian University, National Taiwan University Ph.D. candidates, and industry specialists, developed a digital annealing algorithm suitable for screening cyclic compounds. This innovation has dramatically reduced the time required for material screening in the industry to one-tenth of the original time, aiming to accelerate industrial development.

NSTC stated that the development of the digital annealing algorithm for cyclic compound screening was achieved through over two years of long-term discussions and interactions, combining interdisciplinary experts from chemistry, information science, physics, and mathematics, with the support of NSTC. By fitting parameters from Formosa Plastics Corporation’s comprehensive compound database to the “Quadratic Unconstrained Binary Optimization” (QUBO) problem and executing the algorithm results on Fujitsu’s third-generation digital annealing hardware, significant performance was achieved. This result was also selected to be featured on the cover of the next issue of the international journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research (I&EC).

The research team noted that the molecules screened through the computational process have been confirmed by Formosa Plastics’ pilot plant and are currently being tested in the PVC manufacturing process. From an industrial perspective, this screening technology holds immense application potential in the field of material development. The team is working on extending the developed algorithm to other compound applications, focusing on the development of water-absorbent materials and battery additives, and has begun preliminary trials in the fields of optoelectronic and catalytic materials, demonstrating the potential to accelerate industrial development.