Microsoft has announced that it plans to design a custom quantum supercomputer. On Wednesday, the company’s plan was made available to the public. Microsoft claims quantum supercomputers can revolutionize chemistry, fight climate change and reduce food shortages. The company claims that once the quantum computer reaches a host of milestones, it can be used to solve the most complex problems facing our society.
According to Microsoft, the path to quantum computing is the same as that of current supercomputers. The company has chosen three milestones to reach after which programmable quantum supercomputers could combat problems that are beyond the scope of existing quantum technology.
Currently, test machines are designed with “noisy” physical qubits. These are not beneficial enough to address real problems. The development is currently at the basic level.
Microsoft has combined machines like IonQ, Quantinuum, Rigetti, Pasqqal and QCI along with Azure Quantum Elements. Azure Quantum Elements is a new service that accelerates scientific discovery by integrating the latest advances in HPC.
The moment the reliability of individual qubits is improved, the development of quantum computing will move towards resilient levels. This stage is reached once it is possible to group thousands of physical qubits into a fairly logical qubit.
Finally, the third level is reached when it is possible to design a programmable and scaled quantum supercomputer that is capable of performing classical supercomputing in problem solving.
There is definitely a lot of work to be done before quantum computers can reach the final level. The first quantum computer will be required to provide an error rate of one for every trillion operations.
Microsoft definitely has plenty of rivals in the quantum computer race. The IonQ and the IBM are to name a few. These rivals share identical visions. However, Microsoft may have a slight advantage due to the significant advances it experienced in the previous year. Microsoft showed off capabilities to generate more stable qubits from Majorana particles, which use topological insulators to shield from environmental noise.
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