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Microsoft Gives Devs More Open Source Quantum Computing Goodies | Developers

Microsoft this week introduced the primary main improve to its Quantum Development Kit since its introduction final yr. It has added a number of new options designed to open the platform to a wider array of builders, together with help for Linux and macOS, in addition to extra open supply libraries.

Further, the equipment might be interoperable with the Python computing language.

Microsoft introduced the Quantum Development Kit at its Ignite conference final fall. It launched the free preview about three months later, that includes the brand new Q# programming language, deep integration with Visual Studio, and a quantum simulator, famous Jeff Henshaw, group program supervisor for quantum software program at Microsoft, in a web-based submit.

Python Interoperability

Developers have been clamoring for the equipment to be made obtainable for Linux and macOS, in response to Microsoft.

“Specifically, QDK support for Mac and Linux-based development has been our No. 1 requested feature from developers,” stated Scott Friedman, a spokesperson for Microsoft.

“Open sourcing our libraries enables developers to reuse the code in their own applications and contribute their own enhancements back to the libraries,” he instructed LinuxInsider.

Supporting interoperability for Python permits builders to entry their current libraries from Q# with out having to port it, Friedman identified. “These updates support Microsoft’s ambition to enable a scalable quantum solution for the broadest set of customers — eventually realizing our goal of delivering Quantum as a Service on Azure.”

Developer Demand

There have been tens of hundreds of downloads of the equipment since its introduction, Microsoft stated, with customers starting from college students and professors to researchers, algorithm designers and people new to quantum computing.

“This is all about making it easier for the developer ecosystem to embrace quantum computing,” stated Ashish Nadkarni, programming vice president for computing platforms at IDC.

To a big extent, quantum computing requires the usage of code, he instructed LinuxInsider, and builders more and more have been utilizing Linux and Python to jot down items of code. Many have been utilizing macOS as their platform for digital machines.

Rival Systems

The most vital change from Microsoft could be the improve in velocity of its quantum simulator, stated Paul Teich, principal analyst at Tirias Research.

Its efficiency is now 4 to 5 instances sooner, he instructed LinuxInsider, which allows a a lot sooner testing and optimization loop, notably on simulations involving 20 or extra qubits.

“That’s aimed directly at IBM’s simulator,” Teich stated.

IBM final fall introduced two main upgrades to its IBM-Q business techniques, together with a 20-qubit system obtainable to shoppers and a prototype 50-qubit system that can grow to be obtainable with the next-generation IBM-Q techniques.

IBM rolled out its open supply QISKit earlier final yr, making quantum computer systems obtainable to run applications on or on-line quantum simulators.

An vital piece of Microsoft’s quantum computing technique was its settlement final fall to supply devoted Cray supercomputers on Azure information facilities, Teich famous, giving prospects the flexibility to run synthetic intelligence, superior analytics and simulations.

In releated news, Alibaba Cloud, the computing unit of Alibaba Group, on Thursday unveiled a brand new mission with the Chinese Academy of Science, referred to as the “Quantum Computing Cloud Platform.” It options an 11-qubit processor, making it probably the most highly effective public quantum computing providers within the world.

Alibaba and CAS launched the primary quantum computing lab in Asia in 2015, and by final spring had developed the world’s first photon quantum pc.


David Jones is a contract author based mostly in Essex County, New Jersey. He has written for Reuters, Bloomberg, Crain’s New York Business and The New York Times.




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