Updated April 3rd, 2024 at 19:15 IST

Microsoft, Quantinuum claims key achievement in quantum computing

Microsoft and Quantinuum have achieved a breakthrough by implementing Microsoft's proprietary error-correction algorithm on Quantinuum's physical quibits.

Reported by: Business Desk
Representative | Image:Unsplash
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Microsoft and Quantinuum announced a milestone in advancing quantum computing towards commercial viability, focusing on improving reliability. This development underlines the intense competition among tech giants like Microsoft, Alphabet's Google, and IBM, as well as nations, to harness the potential of quantum mechanics for exponentially faster computing speeds. Quantum computers hold the promise of tackling scientific computations that would otherwise take millions of years with classical computers.

Despite the rapid progress, the inherent fragility of qubits—the fundamental units of quantum computers—poses a challenge, as even slight disturbances can lead to data errors. To address this issue, researchers typically deploy error-correction techniques, often requiring a surplus of physical qubits to ensure reliability.

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Microsoft and Quantinuum have achieved a breakthrough in this realm by implementing Microsoft's proprietary error-correction algorithm on Quantinuum's physical qubits. This innovation has enabled the extraction of approximately four reliable qubits from every 30 physical ones—a significant improvement in the ratio of usable qubits.

Jason Zander, Microsoft's executive vice president for strategic missions and technologies, hailed this achievement and underlined that the ratio attained represents a new benchmark in quantum computing. Microsoft intends to make this technology accessible to its cloud computing customers in the near future.

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While the quest for achieving 100 reliable qubits—the threshold believed necessary to surpass conventional supercomputers—remains ongoing, both Microsoft and Quantinuum anticipate accelerated progress. Ilyas Khan, chief product officer of Quantinuum, expressed optimism, suggesting that the new technique could potentially expedite this timeline by at least two years or more.

(With Reuters inputs)

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Published April 3rd, 2024 at 19:15 IST