Monday, July 24, 2017

Microsoft qubits are decades behind

I thought that Microsoft was among those promising quantum computers real soon now, but maybe not. SciAm reports:
In 2005, Microsoft made a big investment in quantum braids when it put mathematician Michael Freedman in charge of its efforts on quantum computing. ... But late last year, Microsoft hired several star experimentalists from academia. One of them was physicist Leo Kouwenhoven of the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, who in 2012 was the first to confirm experimentally that particles such as anyons remember how they are swapped. He is now setting up a new Microsoft lab at the Delft campus, which aims to demonstrate that anyons can encode qubits and do simple quantum computations. The approach is at least two decades behind other forms of quantum computing, but Freedman thinks that the robustness of topological qubits will ultimately win the day. “If you’re going to build a new technology, you have to get the foundation right,” he says.
If it is "at least two decades behind", then there is probably a long list of technological problems to be solved.

Google and IBM are still promising something this year, I think. We will see, as I think Google and IBM are decades behind also.


  1. I have yet to find out how quantum computing is supposed to work.

    The leading explanations invoke the "parallel universes" where the calculations supposedly take place.

    It really is quite remarkable how the hype has trumped everything.

  2. Everyone should just buy some microwave popcorn and watch the show. I love watching authoritative 'professionals' walk back failure. It's always entertaining to see how many clever and complicated ways you can try to spin 'ooops, I was wrong.'