While International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) is investing billions in the development of synthetic brains and quantum computing, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) took a cue from International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM)’s playbook and the result is its quantum computing research facility, aptly titled ‘Station Q’ located on the campus of the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has hired the world’s top-notch mathematicians, physicists, computer scientists and researchers for Station Q to change how computing will work in the future. So, what is quantum computing? Michael Freedman, Station Q’s director, believes there is no simple way of explaining how quantum computing works. All the computing devices that we use currently, from Smartphones to Mainframes process information in the form of bits. Bits represent either 1 or 0 in the binary code, which can be arranged in long strings to get computing devices to perform all types of tasks.
The quantum circles refer to all the conventional computing devices which use binary code (1 and 0) as ‘classical computers’. A quantum computer uses quantum bits, or qubits. A qubit can be a 1 or a 0 or it can operate as both a 1 and a 0 at the same time. If one qubit can do two calculations at once, then two qubits can do four, and this makes a quantum computer exponentially faster than a ‘classical computer’. Quantum computing has wide possibilities; the problems that can’t be solved by combining all the computers in the world in a lifetime of the universe can be solved through quantum computing.
As Krysta Svore, researcher and manager of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Quantum Architectures and Computation (QuArC) group says: “We think a quantum computer could possibly solve these types of problems in a time frame that’s more reasonable than the life of the universe, maybe a couple of years, or a couple of days, or a couple of seconds.”
To read more about Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Station Q, you can visit Microsoft Stories.