Short Bytes: Microsoft has decided to double down its bet on quantum computing. The company is working to build its own quantum computer and software needed to run on it. It’ll be based on the topological qubit approach. Microsoft veteran Todd Holmdahl will be leading this project.Apart from their extensive work in the field of artificial intelligence, Google and IBM are also known for their ongoing efforts in the nascent field of quantum computing. These companies, and D-Wave, are considering quantum computers as the next step in the journey of computers.
Microsoft, another major force in the tech industry, is chiefly known for its contribution to the software world in the form of Windows operating system, Office suite, and Azure cloud services. However, for quite some time, Microsoft is also busy observing the quantum computing scenario.
What Exactly Is Quantum Computing?
The company has now taken the next step in this direction by doubling down on quantum computing. Redmond has nabbed four top scientists to work on quantum computing and turn the research into reality.
Microsoft’s quantum endeavor will be led by Todd Holmdahl. He’s a Microsoft veteran who is known for his involvement in the development of Xbox, Kinect, and HoloLens.
The scientists who’ll be joining him are:
- Leo Kouwenhoven from Delft University
- Charles Marcus from the University of Copenhagen
- David Reilly from Sydney University
- Mattias Troyer from ETH Zurich
Microsoft is looking to work on quantum computing approach known as topological design. It’s based on a type of qubit called topological qubit.
Microsoft’s team believes that topological qubits are better equipped to face challenges like electrical noise and heat. This property lets them remain in a quantum state longer, making them more effective and practical.
Apart from working on quantum computing hardware, Microsoft is also making the software that could run on it. Talking about the same, Reilly says —
A quantum computer is much more than the qubits. It includes all of the classical hardware systems, interfaces and connections to the outside world.
Talking to NYTimes, Holmdahl says that Microsoft is now close enough to making the basic qubit and the company is ready to begin work on a complete computer.
For more information on this quantum computing bet, you can read Microsoft’s blog.