Microsoft and Quantum Computing Startup Announce Groundbreaking Breakthrough

Microsoft and Quantum Computing Startup Announce Groundbreaking Breakthrough

Quantinuum, a quantum computing startup, and Microsoft (MSFT) on Wednesday said they have achieved a major milestone in the emerging technology. Microsoft stock traded sideways on the news.


Quantum computing machines work on a subatomic level and use exotic technologies, like super-cold superconductor chips. IBM (IBM) and Alphabet‘s (GOOGL) Google use superconducting technology.

In 2021, Honeywell International (HON) merged its Quantum Solutions business with Cambridge Quantum, forming Quantinuum. The company uses “trapped-ion” quantum computing technology.

Further, as of 2024, Honeywell remains the majority shareholder in Quantinuum, owning nearly 54% of the company’s shares.

Quantinuum and Microsoft said their achievement involves “quantum error correction.”

Quantum Computing Advances

Traditional computers use electronic circuits to store information as digital zeros and ones. Quantum computing speeds up complex calculations by taking advantage of quantum physics. Instead of classical computing bits, which can be either 0 or 1, quantum computers use quantum bits, called qubits.

Qubits can be in a state of 0, 1 or both at the same time. This allows quantum computers to perform many calculations simultaneously. Also, qubits link with other qubits, a property known as entanglement.

However, today’s quantum computers are susceptible to changes in temperature, noise, motion or electromagnetic fields. Further, disturbances can cause a qubit’s quantum state to collapse.

Meanwhile, market research firm Gartner forecasts that by 2025, the top 50% of automakers, banks and pharmaceutical companies will be “involved in quantum-inspired initiatives.”

Public quantum computing companies include D-Wave (QBTS), Rigetti (RGTI), IonQ (IONQ) and Quantum Computing (QUBT).

Cloud computing giants such as Amazon Web Services, part of (AMZN), offer access to the quantum computing technologies for pilot projects.

AWS offers researchers access to quantum machines from the likes of IonQ, Oxford Quantum Circuits, QuEra, Rigetti and Canada-based Xanadu Quantum Technologies. Also, Amazon is building quantum computer prototypes at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif.

On the stock market today, Microsoft stock rose a fraction to near 422.

Follow Reinhardt Krause on Twitter @reinhardtk_tech for updates on artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and cloud computing.


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