Microsoft wants to win the quantum computing race. And it is revolutionizing the concept of qubit to achieve it

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Microsoft has announced what its researchers say is a major step toward achieving develop a quantum computer that can be used to solve massive problems that it is not possible to deal with traditional computers (or supercomputers).

This achievement is based on the use of a different type of qubit than the one proposed by other projects. In the case of Microsoft, the key lies in some quasiparticles that until now were only a theoretical concept and that have a fundamental advantage: they are more stable and theoretically they would be free of the famous calculation errors affecting quantum computing.

These qubits are not the same ones that Google or IBM talk about

In 2007 Microsoft researchers published a study with one of those titles difficult to decipher: “Non-abelian Anyons and Topological Quantum Computing”.

in that report there was talk of quasiparticles called abelian anions that at that time only existed as a theoretical concept. In 2015, Microsoft had already advanced that idea, and its researchers published a description of “abelian processors” that could be applied in quantum systems of all kinds.

The fundamental advantage of these non-abelian anions is that the quantum computing system developed with them would not need bug fixes to work.

Qubits are fragile, so the slightest thermal or electromagnetic disturbance introduced by the environment can cause the appearance of quantum decoherence. And when this phenomenon occurs, the quantum effects that give quantum computers a computational advantage over classical supercomputers disappear.

In fact quantum computers they make mistakes when carrying out some operations, and when this happens the results that are returned to us are not correct.

Those qubits that giants like Google or IBM traditionally handle in their developments —and not only them— have this disadvantage, and although some advances have allowed reach calculation accuracies above 99%that’s not enough and work is still going on to achieve that perfect bug fix.

Google, IBM and China have already achieved quantum supremacy.  Now they face another challenge: the correction of errors

That’s where Microsoft’s qubits come in, which avoids those problems by creating a qubit with “native ambient noise protectionmeaning that far fewer qubits should be needed to perform useful computations and correct errors.”

In Redmond they have managed to create so-called Majorana zero modes at the ends of a nanowire, and that allows to create a layer of protection for the ulna which in turn allows computing operations.

They had already managed to do something like this on one end of the nanowire, but now they have succeeded at both endssomething important to build those topological quantum systems that they were theoretically talking about in 2007.

To do this, they have used exotic materials and have developed a process that surrounds the target device with semiconductor and superconducting materials. The result, they say, is a stable work environment that raises a relevant milestone for Microsoft’s approach to this quantum computing with native error correction.

Via | The Register

More information | microsoft

Microsoft has announced what its researchers say is a major step toward achieving develop a quantum computer that can be…

Microsoft has announced what its researchers say is a major step toward achieving develop a quantum computer that can be…

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