At Microsoft Ignite conference this week, the company shared its vision and the progress it has made towards developing a topological qubit and the related hardware-software ecosystem that will enable developers to take benefit of its power. The qubit development is going to help developers, scientists, and researchers in many fields including weather forecasting.
The company is planning to deliver topological quantum computing system with the ability to run calculations that need tens of thousands of logical qubits to a complete software stack. Quantum computing will help scientists do computations within minutes or hours which can otherwise take a lifetime of the universe on even the most advanced computers.
The AI researchers will be able to boost the labor-intensive process of training algorithms with the help of topological quantum computing.
“We’re doing everything,” Todd Holmdahl, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Quantum said, “from the physics to the control plane to the software that runs the computer to the algorithms that you need to do interesting things like quantum chemistry, to the applications for personalized medicine or helping with climate change.”
Microsoft announced a new programming language that is deeply integrated with Visual Studio so that the developers can create apps to debug on quantum simulators, and can further use the same code on the quantum computer. There are libraries and tutorials for developers to familiarize them with quantum computing. The developers without any quantum expertise can write sequences of programming computing using them.
“The new tools are designed for developers who are interested in being on the cutting-edge of computer advances – the same type of people who were early adopters of machine learning and other artificial intelligence advances,” said Krysta M. Svore, Principal Research Manager, Microsoft.
The simulation tasks that need up to 20 logical qubits of power on computer can be simulated by individual users. Moreover, if the Azure is used along, even 40 qubits of power can be simulated.
The topological qubit is certainly more robust than a regular qubit but the only way to protect it from outside interference is keeping it in absolute zero, or 30 millikelvin temperature.
The topological quantum computing can eventually be used to solve some of the toughest problems of the world. It will be available as a free preview by the end of 2017.