Microsoft and TU Delft join to create a quantum computer

Microsoft and TU Delft join to create a quantum computer

Microsoft and TU Delft are developing topological qubits, which could form a future quantum computer

Richard Humphreys |

Microsoft and Netherlands-based QuTech (part of TU Delft technology university have joined forces on the development of topological qubits, which have the potential to become the building blocks of a future quantum computer.

As part of the collaboration, Microsoft will open its own lab on campus, Station Q Delft, which will be led by Proffessor Leo Kouwenhoven.

“In science, we have made enormous leaps in quantum technology in recent years and are now on the verge of actually being able to use the technology. To achieve this, it is essential that we bring together cutting-edge science from universities and advanced engineering from high-tech companies like Microsoft,” said Ronald Hanson, director of QuTech.

Microsoft says this collaborative effort will ensure that the very best minds and tools are paired up, working together to create what is shaping up to be one of the most important technological initiatives of the modern world. From calculating previously unknown special materials to number-crunching medical data, AI and more, the future is filled with exciting possibilities.

In the next decades, scientists expect to be able to build quantum computers. They take advantage of the extraordinary properties of quantum mechanics, in which quantum bits can be both 1 and 0 at the same time. This makes it possible to solve certain types of calculation problems incredibly fast, which even the very largest supercomputers are currently unable to achieve. It is also expected that this will accelerate the quest for new special materials, for example.

President of the board of TU Delft Tim van der Hagen is pleased with the new partnership: “Microsoft is now coming to our campus in Delft and will be investing heavily in staff and facilities. This will not only give a major boost to our research, but will also help us to attract the very best scientists and students to Delft. We will be able to build further on the Netherlands’ leading role in quantum technology, with the TU Delft campus at the heart of it all.”

In addition to working on the topological qubit, scientists at TU Delft are also working on a quantum internet, which is set to allow the creation of extremely secure communication channels. Fault-tolerant quantum computing – in which several qubits together monitor fragile quantum states – is another ongoing project. In the latter, TU Delft scientists are working intensively with chip manufacturer Intel.

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