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Microsoft offers update on its roadmap to a quantum supercomputer

Microsoft Quantum Computer

Microsoft today made several announcements related to Azure Quantum and also offered an update on its roadmap to a quantum supercomputer.

First, Microsoft is announcing a new service called Azure Quantum Elements which will accelerate scientific discovery by integrating the latest breakthroughs in high-performance computing (HPC), artificial intelligence and quantum computing. The private preview of Azure Quantum Elements will be available in a few weeks, and you can sign-up today to learn more.

Azure Quantum Elements will offer the following:

  • Reduce time to impact and costs by accelerating the R&D pipeline and bringing innovative products to market more quickly, with some customers seeing a six-month to one-week speed up from project kick-off to solution.
  • Dramatically increase the search space for new materials, with the potential to scale from thousands of candidates to tens of millions.
  • Speed up certain chemistry simulations by 500,000 times, which is like compressing a year into one minute.
  • Get ready for scaled quantum computing by addressing quantum chemistry problems today with AI and HPC, while experimenting with existing quantum hardware and getting priority access to Microsoft’s quantum supercomputer in the future.

Second, Copilot in Azure Quantum will allow scientists to use natural language to reason through complex chemistry and materials science problems.

With Copilot in Azure Quantum a scientist can accomplish complex tasks like generating the underlying calculations and simulations, querying and visualizing data, and getting guided answers to complicated concepts.

Like GitHub Copilot for programming, Copilot in Azure Quantum will help people learn about quantum and write code for today’s quantum computers.

Third, Microsoft published a peer-reviewed research demonstrating that it has achieved the first milestone towards building a practical quantum supercomputer. Microsoft can now create and control Majorana quasiparticles. With this breakthrough, Microsoft is now moving towards engineering a new hardware-protected qubit. Once that is done, Microsoft can engineer reliable logical qubits to reach the Resilient Level and then progress to reach Scale.

Microsoft also announced a new measurement called reliable Quantum Operations Per Second (rQOPS), which measures how many reliable operations can be executed in one second. All the existing quantum computers in the market are all at Level 1 with a rQOPS of zero. Microsoft believes that we need at least 1 billion rQOPS to solve impactful chemistry and materials science problems.

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