Last year, Microsoft brought a first public preview of its Azure Quantum service, which aims to streamline quantum computing development. This week, the company is discussing a major breakthrough from Azure Quantum. Specifically, a new type of qubit (Qbit) that highlight workable physics to show decades-old theories are correct.
Microsoft’s goal with Azure Quantum is to usher in a new era of development, using millions of qubits to work together. The new devices the company has created can generate quantum properties. Importantly, these properties shows that the physics many believed would be needed for a topological quantum bit (qubit) is sound.
Quantum computing is complex, but we still recommend checking out the Microsoft Research post. This does a deep dive on the project and how it can change the field moving forward. Microsoft also released a general news blog covering the topic more broadly.
Essentially, the development of the devices to create quantum properties means researchers are one step closer to developing a topological Qbit. This brand new type of qubit will underpin Microsoft’s development of quantum computers that are scalable.
Microsoft Distinguished Engineer Krysta Svore points out this is an important development. So much so, it could start a new era of computing:
“What’s amazing is humans have been able to engineer a system to demonstrate one of the most exotic pieces of physics in the universe,” says Svore. “And we expect to capitalize on this to do the almost unthinkable — to push towards a fault-tolerant quantum machine that will enable computation on an entirely new level that’s closer to the way nature operates.”
“It’s never been done before, and until now it was never certain that it could be done,” she adds. “And now it’s like yes, here’s this ultimate validation that we’re on the right path.”
Let’s be clear, this is a massive breakthrough and possibly a historic one, but even so, it is merely one step on a long path. In other words, don’t be expecting scalable quantum computing just yet.
“There’s no fundamental obstacle to producing a topological qubit anymore,” explains Microsoft General Manager for Fabrication Lauri Sainiemi. “This definitely doesn’t mean that we’re done — we still have tons of work to do. But the fundamental part has been demonstrated, and now we’re on more of an engineering path and that’s what we’ll continue to pursue.”
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