Experimental evaluation of simulated quantum annealing with MTJ-augmented p-bits

Andrea Grimaldi, Kemal Selcuk, Navid Anjum Aadit, Keito Kobayashi, Qixuan Cao, Shuvro Chowdhury, Giovanni Finocchio, Shun Kanai, Hideo Ohno, Shunsuke Fukami, Kerem Y. Camsari

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The slowing down of Moore's Law has created an exciting new era of electronics, leading to the emergence of various types of CMOS+X devices and architectures. Here, we present the first experimental demonstration of a probabilistic computer where a stochastic magnetic tunnel junction (sMTJ) drives a powerful CMOS-based field programmable gate array (FPGA) in a heterogeneous compute fabric. We use our machine to experimentally evaluate the simulated quantum annealing (SQA) algorithm, known to closely mimic the behavior of D-Wave's quantum annealers which implement the transverse field Ising model (TFIM). Our machine matches the exact solution of the TFIM where p-bits in the FPGA are asynchronously driven by the stochastic dynamics of a magnetic tunnel junction. To compare the performance of SQA against classical annealing (CA) in hard combinatorial optimization at large scale, we also design a fully digital emulator of our asynchronous architecture in the FPGA. Our digital system uses 7,085 p-bits to factor up to 26-bit integers and is about 10X faster than optimized Tensor (TPU) and Graphics Processing Units (GPU) at lower power. Surprisingly, we find that the additional replica networks necessary for SQA do not lead to appreciably better performance over an optimized CA that is using the same computational resources. The systematic evaluation of the SQA algorithm we present will be relevant for other types of accelerators, such as photonic or electronic Ising machines and the integrated scaling of our CMOS + sMTJ architecture could lead to orders of magnitude further improvements over TPU and GPUs, according to experimentally-validated projections.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2022 International Electron Devices Meeting, IEDM 2022
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781665489591
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event2022 International Electron Devices Meeting, IEDM 2022 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: 2022 Dec 32022 Dec 7

Publication series

NameTechnical Digest - International Electron Devices Meeting, IEDM
ISSN (Print)0163-1918


Conference2022 International Electron Devices Meeting, IEDM 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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