The problem is that qubits can also be unstable, which could break a computing cycle. Researchers are trying to address those issues through different means. For example, D-Wave’s technique of quantum annealing uses a magnetic field to perform qubit operations. IBM uses what it calls the gate model.
Roughly speaking, the concept of Microsoft’s approach, a topological qubit, is like a knot in a string. The information that a qubit normally carries is physically separated or fractionalized, spread out among two Majorana particles, according to Michael Freedman, a Fields Medal winner who now works at Microsoft. That makes them more resilient, he said.
What Microsoft hopes to accomplish is to take everything in a quantum computing stack—from developing the chips itself, to a computer, to the languages and software necessary to run them—and build them itself. When will that be accomplished? Microsoft executives didn't say.
This story used reporting previously gathered by Agam Shah.
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