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Microsoft bets big on quantum computing


Microsoft has announced that it will now put its effort into doubling down its quantum computing research, in an aim to produce a scalable quantum computer using what is called, a topological qubit.

Microsoft executive Todd Holmdahl, will lead the scientific and engineering effort to create scalable quantum hardware and software. He has also played a key role in the development of other products such as Xbox, Kinect and HoloLens. “I think we’re at an inflection point in which we are ready to go from research to engineering,” said Holmdahl, who is the corporate vice president of Microsoft’s quantum program.

Holmdahl will also be joined by two prominent leaders in the field of quantum computing – Leo Kouwenhoven and Charles Marcus. While Kouwenhoven is a distinguished professor at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands and a founding director of QuTech, the Advanced Research Center on Quantum Technologies, Marcus is the Villum Kann Rasmussen Professor at the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen and a director of the Danish National Research Foundation-sponsored Center for quantum devices.

The company also plans to add two more leaders – Matthias Troyer, a professor of computational physics at ETH Zurich in Switzerland and David Reilly, an experimental physicist and director of the Centre for Quantum Machines at the University of Sydney in Australia.

The company is also working to build a quantum computer, for which it is also creating the software that could run on it. Microsoft believes that that topological qubits are better able to withstand challenges such as heat or electrical noise, allowing them to remain in a quantum state for longer.

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