Microsoft Launches Free Preview Version Of Its Quantum Development Kit

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speaks at the annual Microsoft shareholders meeting in Bellevue Wash. AP

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speaks at the annual Microsoft shareholders meeting in Bellevue Wash. AP

First announced in September during the Microsoft Ignite conference, the kit includes the Q# (Q-sharp) programming language and a simulator for developers interested in creating programs for quantum computers, even if they're not experts in quantum physics, according to the software maker.

Microsoft has also released an Azure-based simulator that can simulate more than 40 logical qubits of computing power - flawless for running larger-scale quantum calculations compared to the regular quantum simulator.

To enable developers to test quantum algorithms and solutions written in Q#, Microsoft has included a local simulator in the kit available from within Visual Studio.

Using the quantum simulator, which is a part of the kit, you can simulate a quantum computer of about 30 logical qubits on your laptop.

"The hope is that you play with something like teleportation and you get intrigued", said Krysta Svore, a principal researcher at Microsoft.

Microsoft has launched its Quantum Development Kit - even though a quantum computer doesn't even exist yet. In case you're willing to push the boundaries and simulate more than 40 logical qubits, you can use an Azure-based simulator.

In November 2016, the company unveiled an ambitious plan to build a quantum computer. It seems like Quantum computing is making its own way towards the general use. Microsoft's Allison Linn wrote, "Experts believe quantum computers could allow scientists to address some of the world's toughest challenges, such as world hunger or the risky effects of climate change".

For example, numerous current breakthroughs in AI are based in part on machine learning, in which a system is given a set of data and learns from that data to recognize things like words, sounds or objects.

Quantum computing uses qubits that can be both on and off at the same time until they are "observed" by a programme, which means they can facilitate masses more computation equations than traditional bits yet not require vast amounts of chip transistors or storage. Microsoft has just released a preview version of a development kit designed for just that. The goal of that content is to give the background that devs will need to take advantage of aspects of computing that are unique to quantum systems, like quantum teleportation. The Quantum development Kit can be downloaded now.

"What you're going to see as a developer is the opportunity to tie into tools that you already know well, services you already know well", said Todd Holmdahl, the corporate vice president for Microsoft's quantum project.

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