Microsoft, the realization of "topological quantum bit" approaches the realization of general purpose quantum computer

Japan Microsoft Co., Ltd. held a round table for press in Tokyo on 16th.

Mr. Akira Sakakibara, the company’s chief technology officer, explained about the contents announced in the keynote lecture of "Microsoft Ignite 2017" held on September 25 (US time).

About AI, he said, "Microsoft will do three approaches to providing AI (artificial intelligence), providing platforms, incorporating into existing products, and business solutions," said Azure Machine Learning Workbench "And others.

For "Project Brainwave" which uses a dedicated accelerator to execute AI processing at high speed, it explained that scaling is realized by assembling an accelerator by combining commercial products rather than developing dedicated hardware. Intel's FPGA is used for the processor, it says.

Brainwave is not intended for learning but is developed assuming use of inference processing when it is necessary to execute it at high speed and with low delay. It is said that future plans will be available on Azure.

Ignite also introduced a data security function "Azure Confidential Computing" (explanation of official blog) that can process data while keeping the data encryption.

To be precise, the process of protecting "unencrypted" data in a sandbox called Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) for processing, making it impossible to view / operate from the outside, software (Hyper-V) And hardware (Intel SGX), both functions can be used.

Ignite keynote lecture Satia Nadera of Microsoft CEO of U.S. also introduced the latest development results on quantum computing.

Unlike conventional computers, Quantum Computers are expected to evolve dramatically in parallel processing performance because they can take the state of superposition of "0 and 1" as well as 0 and 1 by treating quantum as a bit However, Microsoft Research, a research institution of Microsoft, has conducted specialized research and development on quantum computers for over ten years at "Station Q", one of its bases.

There are two systems of quantum computers, namely quantum annealing method and quantum gate method. While the quantum annealing method is more advanced than the quantum gate method (past article), it is specialized in combinatorial optimization problem, whereas the quantum gate method can perform general purpose calculation, replacing the existing computer .

Microsoft has developed a computer of quantum gate type which can calculate versatility, and Google and IBM etc. are conducting research and development for the realization of quantum gate computer.

The presentation at Ignite this time is about "topological qubits" realizing quantum gate type computer and about hardware / software ecosystem.

In terms of quantum computer realization, in terms of qubits being quite unstable, qubits cause "decoherence" that loses quantum mechanical properties even with very little interference, It will not be possible. According to the company, it is said that 10,000 physical quantum bits are required for one ethical qubit to provide reliable calculation results.

With topological qubits, the topological attribute enhances the stability of the qubit and enables error protection. It is assumed that the topological qubits are Fermi particles like electrons and are realized by using Mayorana particles which are electrically neutral.

A topological state of a substance refers to a state in which electrons can be divided into various positions in the system by definition. When electrons are subdivided, information is saved in several different places and it is said that stability improves because it is necessary to change all information saved to change its state.

However, since it is still unstable even with topological qubits, it is necessary to operate in a cryogenic environment as a method of protecting against external interference.

Microsoft developed a cooling system jointly with Bluefors and built a system architecture that can exchange data with a computer operating at room temperature while operating at a temperature close to absolute zero of 30 mK (milliKelvin). In the system it is said that magnetic field control is also done.

Although we are currently experimenting with 1 qubit (qubit), the company says topological quantum bits will lead to the realization of scalable quantum computers.

For software, the development of a new programming language for quantum computers was announced.

The same language will allow applications to be developed and debugged on a quantum simulator and will be able to run on topological quantum computers in the future.

It is said to integrate with Visual Studio, and tools such as autocomplete will also work. According to Mr. Sakakibara, it is based on F#, C#, Python etc. It is said that it is a highly readable language.

Mr. Sakakibara explains that one of the "democratization of technology" mentioned by Microsoft is a quantum computer and focused on accelerating AI greatly by the quantum computer.

Also, as a personal point of view, considering the speed of research and development evolution, such as the fact that the quantum computer "IBM Q" commercialized by IBM has tripled qubits in a year, in the next five years I told the idea that a practical quantum computer would come out.

Original article :

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