Microsoft is doubling down on its commitment to the tantalizing field of quantum computing, making a strong bet that it is possible to create a scalable quantum computer using what is called a topological qubit.
Longtime Microsoft executive Todd Holmdahl – who has a history of successfully bringing seemingly magical research projects to life as products – will lead the scientific and engineering effort to create scalable quantum hardware and software.
“I think we’re at an inflection point in which we are ready to go from research to engineering,” said Holmdahl, who is corporate vice president of Microsoft’s quantum program.
Holmdahl, who previously played a key role in the development of the Xbox, Kinect and HoloLens, noted that success is never guaranteed. But, he said, he thinks the company’s long investment in quantum research has been fruitful enough that there’s a clear roadmap to a scalable quantum computer.
“None of these things are a given,” Holmdahl said. “But you have to take some amount of risk in order to make a big impact in the world, and I think we’re at the point now that we have the opportunity to do that.”
Microsoft has hired two leaders in the field of quantum computing, Leo Kouwenhoven and Charles Marcus. The company also will soon bring on two other leaders in the field, Matthias Troyer and David Reilly.
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