Microsoft boosts Aussie quantum computing team

Microsoft boosts Aussie quantum computing team

Flags plans to add 20 new researchers to Sydney quantum computing lab

Microsoft has reportedly confirmed plans to double the size of its Station Q quantum computing lab in Sydney, in a move that will see 20 more researchers come on board.

As reported by sister publication, Computerworld, Microsoft is hoping to bump up its research ranks in a bid to “double down” on its goal to build a scalable quantum computer.

Station Q Sydney and the Quantum Nanoscience Laboratory are part of the Centre for Quantum Machines, directed by Professor David Reilly at the University of Sydney.

Late last year, Microsoft flagged that it wanted to “double down” on its commitment to quantum computing, with plans to bring “two leaders” in the field, Reilly, and fellow researcher, Matthias Troyer, into its ranks.

Reilly’s hire was announced earlier this year, with Microsoft taking the researcher on in a bid to build out its quantum systems.

Now, Reilly is picking up the pace.

“We're in significant ramp up phase,” he told Computerworld. “We'll be bringing on more than an additional 20 engineers or so to this group in the next six months.

“And then beyond that you know I would expect that things will continue to ramp up. We're hiring,” he said.

The new additions are set to help Microsoft ramp up the development of its quantum system, which is based on a type of qubit – or unit of quantum information – called a topological qubit.

Microsoft’s quantum team believes that topological qubits are better able to withstand challenges such as heat or electrical noise, allowing them to remain in a quantum state longer. This is expected to make them more practical and effective.

While the company Microsoft works on its quantum computing prowess, it’s also creating the software that could run on it, with a goal is to have a system that can begin to efficiently solve complex problems from the very beginning.

Plans for the new quantum hires come just weeks after Microsoft unveiled plans to build a new inside sales centre for Asia in Sydney, in a move expected add 120 new jobs.

The vendor said it chose Sydney as the location for one of its four global Inside Sales Centres and that 120 digital inside sales professionals were being recruited to serve customers from the "state-of-the-art" centre being established in the NSW capital.

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