Microsoft is working to build the world’s first, truly scalable quantum computer.
At Ignite conference, Microsoft provided an update on the progress they have made with their Quantum Computer research. The company showcased the progress it has made toward developing both a topological qubit, the ecosystem of hardware as well as the software that will eventually allow a wide range of developers to take advantage of quantum computing power.
Quantum Computing studies computation systems (quantum computers)
that make direct use of quantum-mechanical phenomena, such as superposition and entanglement, to perform operations on data.
Quantum computers are different from binary digital electronic computers based on transistors. Whereas common digital computing requires that the data be encoded into binary digits (bits), each of which is always in one of two definite states (0 or 1), quantum computation uses quantum bits, which can be in super positions of states.
As of 2017, the development of actual quantum computers is still in its infancy, but experiments have been carried out in which quantum computational operations were executed on a very small number of quantum bits. Although it evokes mystical comparisons, experts believe quantum computing will have innumerable practical benefits. That’s because it would allow scientists to do computations in minutes or hours that would take the lifetime of the universe on even the most advanced classical computers we use today. That, in turn, would mean that people could find answers to scientific questions previously thought unanswerable.
Principle of operation
A quantum computer with a given number of qubits is fundamentally different from a classical computer composed of the same number of classical bits. For example, representing the state of an n-qubit system on a classical computer requires the storage of 2n complex coefficients, while to characterise the state of a classical n-bit system it is sufficient to provide the values of the n bits, that is, only n numbers. Although this fact may seem to indicate that qubits can hold exponentially more information than their classical counterparts, care must be taken not to overlook the fact that the qubits are only in a probabilistic superposition of all of their states.
It is generally incorrect to think of a system of qubits as being in one particular state before the measurement, since the fact that they were in a superposition of states before the measurement was made directly affects the possible outcomes of the computation.
Quantum computing experts will often note two things: That one of the best uses they see for a topological qubit is to develop better quantum computing technologies.
One of the great pleasures of this kind of work is that you can’t predict what incredible advances it will produce.
“It’s not an incremental tune-up or improvement. It’s a qualitatively different thing.”
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Sources: Wikipedia , Microsoft.