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DARPA names Microsoft Azure as quantum computing partner

by MSCN Reporter
Staff Writer,

The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has named Microsoft as a partner for its quantum computing initiative.

The Underexplored Systems for Utility-Scale Quantum Computing (US2QC) program will involve three companies. Apart from Microsoft, the program will involve Atom Computing and PsiQuantum. Each company will present a different design concept for a utility-scale quantum computer for evaluation by DARPA researchers.

Microsoft has made much of its quantum computing data openly available for researchers. The company’s quantum computing program began with a study of hardware requirements to run quantum apps with different qubit architectures. This evolved into the Resource Estimation tool in Azure Quantum.

“Microsoft has taken a more challenging, but what we believe to be a more promising path towards scaled quantum computing and designed our machine using topological qubits. Our unique qubit architecture is theorized to enable our quantum machine to be small enough to fit in a closet, fast enough to solve problems in a practical timeframe, and have the capability to control more than one million qubits. We are confident in this design given our significant physics breakthrough which cleared a major hurdle toward engineering the world’s first topological qubit and ultimately, a scaled quantum machine,” wrote Julie Love, General Manager of Quantum Program Manager at Microsoft.

“The goal of US2QC is to reduce the danger of strategic surprise from underexplored quantum computing systems. We put out a call last year saying that if anyone thought they had a truly revolutionary approach to building a useful quantum computer in the near future – less than 10 years – we wanted to hear from them. We offered to collaborate by funding additional experts to join their team and provide rigorous government verification and validation of their proposed solutions to determine its viability. The ultimate outcome of the program is a win-win — for U.S. commercial leadership in this strategically important technology area and for national security to avoid being surprised,” stated Joe Altepeter, US2QC program manager in DARPA’s Defense Sciences Office.

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