Microsoft and Photonic collaborate to develop quantum networking solutions

Microsoft and Photonic collaborate to develop quantum networking solutions


Firms will leverage the Azure cloud to create a full scale, global quantum internet

Amber Hickman |

Microsoft is collaborating with quantum technology firm Photonic to empower the quantum computing ecosystem.

Photonic will combine its spin-photon architecture with the Microsoft Azure infrastructure with the aim of delivering new technologies that enable reliable quantum communications over long distances.

“We are thrilled about joining forces with Photonic in improving the world through quantum technologies,” said Jason Zander, executive vice president of strategic missions and technologies at Microsoft. “There is an opportunity to ignite new capabilities across the quantum ecosystem extending beyond computing, such as networking and sensing, and unlocking applications and scientific discovery at scale across chemistry, materials science, metrology, communications, and many other fields. The capabilities we aim to deliver with Photonic can enable this vision and bring about quantum’s impact far more quickly than otherwise possible.”

The firms will address quantum networking in three stages. The first will focus on the ‘physical layer’ of the networking stack with the aim of delivering entanglement between two separate quantum devices via photons through telecom fibre.

In the second stage, also referred to as the ‘link layer’, the firms will aim to deliver a quantum repeater that can capture, entangle and hold quantum information reliably for a short time. Finally, the third stage ‘network layer’ will focus on delivering a reliable quantum repeater that is operational with the Azure cloud. This will help overcome any limitations on distance in the network and enable the ability to create a full scale global quantum internet.

“It will take a global ecosystem to unlock the full promise of quantum computing,” said Dr Stephanie Simmons, founder and chief quantum officer of Photonic, and the co-chair of Canada’s national quantum strategy advisory board. “No company or country can do it alone. “That’s why we’re incredibly excited to be partnering with Microsoft to bring forth these new quantum capabilities. Its extensive global infrastructure, proven platforms and the remarkable scale of the Azure cloud make it the ideal partner to unleash the transformative potential of quantum computing and accelerate innovation across the quantum computing ecosystem.”

Dr Stephanie Simmons of Photonic, and Jason Zander of Microsoft discuss the collaboration between the two firms

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