Azure Quantum is an open cloud computing service that will provide developers with access to several quantum computers. (Image credit: Microsoft)
I wonder how hard Azure will be to use now... See my Azure project, showing said complexity. It would be interesting to see what I could do with quantum processing.
Microsoft recently announced it’s planning to release its open Azure Quantum cloud computing platform to select customers, which will gain access to several Quantum computers from Honeywell, IonQ, and QCI. Although Microsoft doesn’t claim those computers are ready to start crunching qubits to produce any useful work, it will allow developers to start messing around with quantum algorithms and hardware to learn what can be done with them.
Azure Quantum offers a set of quantum programming tools via Microsoft’s QDK (Quantum Development Kit) that features a quantum-focused programming language designated Q# (Q-sharp), which the company states is integrated with Visual Studio, Visual Studio Code, and has interoperability with Python. The QDK also features a simulated environment where developers can test their Q# code, set breakpoints, debug, and estimate how much it will cost to run on Quantum Computers. They also gain access to open-source libraries and samples of Q# they can use as building blocks for applications.
Honeywell’s quantum computer uses trapped-ion qubits for problem-solving, which they claim are identical and defect-free. (Image credit: Honeywell)
Microsoft states that their partners will run their respective quantum computers at their facilities but will be linked to the company’s cloud service via internet. Not all quantum computers run the same either, as Honeywell and IonQ encode data using individual trapped ions within electromagnetic fields, while QCI uses superconducting metal circuitry to process qubits.
Microsoft isn’t the only venture that offers access to quantum computers technology, as Rigatti and D-Wave Systems, who build quantum computers for Google and NASA, provide access to their platforms via cloud services, and IBM is set to launch cloud access to their 53-qubit QC soon as well. With that said, Microsoft plans to launch Azure Quantum in the next few months, and those organizations interested in using the service can apply now to join the Microsoft Quantum Network.
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