Microsoft is taking a leap in quantum computing by giving its developers tools to experiment on their existing machines. The company discussed its progress in building quantum computer in its Ignite Conference held on 25 September, 2017.
Quantum computing unlocks the enormous calculating power by reordering traditional rules through quantum effects. The Washington-headquartered tech giant is focused on development of a different approach to how quantum computing works. This different approach may help it to get ahead of its competitors including IBM, Google, and others.
Microsoft’s approach is based on advances in topology, in which quantum bits are encoded in a particle-like object emerging from interactions inside matter. Fields Medal-recipient Michael Freedman and his team have done a lot of theoretical work behind topological approach.
Todd Holmdahl, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for quantum research, outlined that the topology offers a lot of fidelity. The competitors have three nines of fidelity, while Microsoft can have thousand or ten thousand times of that.
The tech giant is using Freedman’s theories for implementation of error correction mechanism. This mechanism plays a pivotal role in quantum computing at the physical level.
Microsoft built a quantum computing lab in Santa Barbara, U.S., to form a commercial quantum computer. The tech giant has not revealed whether it will sell the device itself or make it available through Azure. According to Holmdahl, the company has not planned a business model yet.
A classical computer is needed to control a quantum computer. So, in data center, quantum computer can be attached as an auxiliary processing unit to a regular computer.
Developers will soon be able to run Microsoft’s simulator on their machines. Moreover, the company has developed a programming language to write quantum applications.
Software tools for quantum computing will be available by the end of 2017.