Microsoft & Quantinuum to Accelerate Road to Quantum

Microsoft and Quantinuum have announced a breakthrough in making fault-tolerant quantum computing a reality
Microsoft and Quantinuum have announced a breakthrough in making fault-tolerant quantum computing a reality
Quantum computing breakthrough announced by Quantinuum and Microsoft could shorten timeline to tackling real-world problems and revolutionising industries

Quantum computing has been described as one of the next big trends in the field of technology, with research projecting that the technology will contribute approximately US$1.3tn in value to the world’s economy by the year 2035.

Capable of solving problems up to 100 million times faster than traditional computers, quantum computing has the potential to speed up processes on a monumental scale. Quantum computers use qubits, which can be 1 and 0 simultaneously, allowing these machines to handle much more complex problems. These computers might, one day, run revolutionary algorithms that could search unwieldy databases or factor large numbers — including, importantly, those used in encryption

Now, Quantinuum – the world’s largest integrated quantum computing company – has announced that, together with Microsoft, it has achieved a breakthrough in making fault-tolerant quantum computing a reality, by demonstrating the most reliable logical qubits with active syndrome extraction, an achievement previously believed to be years away.

Quantinuum and Microsoft take a leap towards fault-tolerant universal quantum computing

Quantinuum and Microsoft have achieved a major milestone by demonstrating the first reliable logical qubits with error rates 800 times lower than physical qubits. 

The announcement could shorten the timeline to tackling real-world problems and revolutionise fields like materials science and drug discovery

According to an announcement, a collaboration between Quantinuum's team in the USA and UK and Microsoft's quantum computing team demonstrated the ability to run 14,000 independent instances of a quantum circuit error-free. Breakthroughs of this magnitude, the companies say, have the potential to accelerate progress towards the ultimate goal of achieving universal fault-tolerant quantum computing, potentially shortening the timeline to tackling real-world problems and revolutionising fields like materials science and drug discovery. 

“The result announced today further cements Quantinuum's position at the forefront of universal fault-tolerant quantum computing,” comments Rajeeb Hazra, CEO of Quantinuum. “Today’s achievement was only possible using Quantinuum’s H2 quantum computer, with its unparalleled 99.8% two-qubit gate fidelities; the 32 qubits in our QCCD architecture; and all-to-all qubit connectivity. Building on the exceptional performance of our current systems, we will continue to innovate to make universal fault-tolerant quantum computing a reality sooner than previously imagined.”

Quantinuum and Microsoft quantum breakthroughs
  • Error rates 800x lower than physical qubits
  • 14,000 quantum circuits error-free

“This is an important breakthrough for quantum computing,” adds Dr. Krysta Svore – Distinguished Engineer and VP of Advanced Quantum Development for Microsoft Azure Quantum. “The collaboration between Quantinuum and Microsoft has established a crucial step forward for the industry and demonstrated a critical milestone on the path to hybrid classical-quantum supercomputing capable of transforming scientific discovery.”

To advance quantum computing, Microsoft has previously announced several innovations and partnerships to reach quantum advantage – a problem that no classical computer can solve in any feasible amount of time. In November 2023, the company announced a strategic quantum co-innovation collaboration with Photonic, a company focused on building scalable, fault tolerant, and distributed quantum technologies, aimed to unlock the next stages in quantum networking.

With 61% of organisations yet to define a strategy for a post-quantum world, and with quantum algorithms capable of solving the computational problems that underpin encryption schemes already in development, Quantinuum, meanwhile, has previously collaborated with Thales to launch a PQC Starter Kit, aimed at helping enterprises prepare for Post-Quantum Cryptography (PQC).

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