HomeWinBuzzer NewsMicrosoft and Quantinuum Achieve Quantum Computing Milestone with Error Correction Breakthrough

Microsoft and Quantinuum Achieve Quantum Computing Milestone with Error Correction Breakthrough

Microsoft and Quantinuum developed a system for error correction in quantum computers. This allows for reliable computations and marks a shift from Noisy Intermediate Scale Quantum (NISQ) era.


Microsoft and Quantinuum have revealed a major improvement in quantum error correction. The collaboration has resulted in the execution of over 14,000 experiments without encountering a single error, utilizing Quantinuum’s ion-trap hardware combined with Microsoft’s innovative qubit-virtualization system. This development signifies a departure from the era of Noisy Intermediate Scale Quantum (NISQ) computers, marking the beginning of what could be considered a new, more stable era in quantum computing technology.

Error Correction: A Path Beyond NISQ

The era of NISQ computing has been characterized by systems that are highly sensitive to environmental changes, leading to rapid decoherence and errors. Traditional quantum computers, limited to a few thousand qubits, struggled to run basic algorithms before becoming too noisy. The collaborative effort between Microsoft and Quantinuum has addressed this challenge by implementing a system that not only detects but also corrects errors without destroying the logical qubits. This system represents a significant improvement in the reliability and performance of quantum computers, potentially enabling them to solve complex problems with greater efficiency.

The team’s approach involved encoding multiple physical qubits into a single logical qubit, enhancing the system’s resilience to errors. By entangling physical qubits, the system can identify and correct errors within individual qubits, maintaining the integrity of the logical qubits. This advancement in error correction is crucial for moving beyond the limitations of NISQ technology, as it allows for the creation of fault-tolerant quantum computers capable of performing longer and more complex computations.

Implications and Future Directions

This breakthrough has not only demonstrated the largest gap between physical and logical error rates but also the potential for quantum computing to solve problems previously considered intractable. A computer with 100 of these logical qubits could address specific challenges, while a system with 1,000 qubits could offer a commercial advantage, according to Microsoft. The ability to perform “active syndrome extraction,” diagnosing and correcting errors without compromising the logical qubit, is a fundamental milestone in quantum error correction.

The quantum computing community is now tasked with replicating these results and implementing similar error correction systems. The collaboration between Microsoft and Quantinuum continues to push the boundaries of quantum computing, with both companies expressing excitement for the future applications and benefits of their technology, especially as quantum processors scale up. The technical paper detailing this achievement provides further insights.

Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.