Microsoft “Azure Quantum” has Released a Preview Version

Azure Quantum is a platform where you can use quantum hardware and software from Microsoft and its partners. You can use quantum computers made by partner companies IonQ and Honeywell, and a simulator on Microsoft’s cloud platform “Azure” for quantum computation. In the future, it will be possible to perform calculations on Microsoft’s quantum computer.

As an example of utilizing the platform, an example of optimizing the flow of vehicles using traffic signals was introduced by Japanese quantum venture Jij (JAI, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo) and its customer Toyota Tsusho.

The two companies calculated a quantum inspired (classical algorithm inspired by quantum computation) optimization method using the preview version of Azure Quantum. Compared to the conventional method, it was possible to reduce the waiting time of the vehicle by about 20% when the number of traffic signals was increased to about 20.

In order to use Azure Quantum, you need to contact Microsoft from the official website, but the quantum inspired optimization algorithm and the learning content of the quantum application programming language “Q ” developed by Microsoft are released for free.

Microsoft’s quantum computer hardware and software lag behind rivals
Microsoft has also developed a quantum computer called “topological quantum computer” in its own company, but the results are not as big as those of Google and IBM, which preceded by hardware. When Azure Quantum was announced for the first time in November 2019, the company’s laboratory realized quantum technology that can control up to 50,000 qubits, but anyone like Google or IBM can access that computing resource. It is not possible to do so, and the performance such as error correction of qubit is not clear.

On the other hand, from the perspective of a quantum computing platform that allows you to test multiple quantum hardware, British venture company Cambridge Quantum Computing (CQC) and affiliated AWS, etc. are ahead. However, CQC is a Microsoft partner and shares some computing hardware, so Amazon is likely to be the current competitor on the platform

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Azure Quantum is a platform where you can use quantum hardware and software from Microsoft and its partners.

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