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U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) names Microsoft as a Quantum Partner

DARPA has selected Microsoft as a partner to explore scaled quantum computing in support of DARPA’s broader quantum strategies. DARPA has long been on the cutting edge of technology and plays an important role in advancing the quantum technology ecosystem. At Microsoft, we have a vision to bring quantum at scale to the world in ways that are impactful and responsible. We see the potential of quantum computing to solve some of society’s most complex problems. This collaboration with DARPA will enable us to explore together the benefits of our unique approach in making the promise of quantum technologies a reality.

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.  Anyone can access the same data as our scientists to better understand Microsoft’s approach to building a scalable, full-stack quantum machine.  

Microsoft founded our quantum program with scale in mind because we believe a machine will need at least one million qubits to solve a broad class of classically intractable problems. This enormous scale requirement emerged from our resource estimation research. Years ago, we built a tool to understand the hardware requirements and run times required to run various quantum applications using a variety of qubit architectures. For a quantum application to run in a matter of weeks instead of years or centuries, a machine requires upwards of one million qubits. That Resource Estimation tool is now available to anyone in our cloud service, Azure Quantum.

The quantum computing industry is at an important inflection point—and Microsoft is starting to separate the hype from reality. We applaud DARPA’s diligence and focus in this important space. We look forward to sharing more as we collaborate with DARPA and invite you to join the Microsoft Quantum Innovator Series to stay connected.

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Microsoft Quantum Innovator Series

The path to quantum at scale.