Log in
Forgot password ?
Become a member for free
Sign up
Sign up
Dynamic quotes 

4-Traders Homepage  >  Equities  >  Nyse  >  International Business Machines Corp.    IBM

Delayed Quote. Delayed  - 10/21 10:01:12 pm
149.63 USD   -1.25%
03:11p MICROSOFT : Inside Microsofts quest for a topological quantum comput..
03:04p INTERNATIONAL B : Frost & Sullivan Confer Cloud Company of the Year ..
03:04p Global Software Testing Market 2016 Accenture, Capgemini, IBM, W..
News SummaryMost relevantAll newsSector news 
The feature you requested does not exist. However, we suggest the following feature:

Microsoft : Inside Microsofts quest for a topological quantum computer

share with twitter share with LinkedIn share with facebook
share via e-mail
10/22/2016 | 03:11pm CEST

The race is on build a universal quantum computer. Such a device could be programmed to speedily solve problems that classical computers cannot crack, potentially revolutionizing fields from pharmaceuticals to cryptography. Many of the world`s major technology firms are taking on the challenge, but Microsoft has opted for a more tortuous route than its rivals.

IBM, Google and a number of academic labs have chosen relatively mature hardware, such as loops of superconducting wire, to make quantum bits (qubits). These are the building blocks of a quantum computer: they power its speedy calculations thanks to their ability to be in a mixture (or superposition) of on and off states at the same time.

Microsoft, however, is hoping to encode its qubits in a kind of quasiparticle: a particle-like object that emerges from the interactions inside matter. Some physicists are not even sure that the particular quasiparticles Microsoft are working with called non-abelian anyons actually exist. But the firm hopes to exploit their topological properties, which make quantum states extremely robust to outside interference, to build what are called topological quantum computers. Early theoretical work on topological states of matter won three physicists the Nobel Prize in Physics on 4 October.

The firm has been developing topological quantum computing for more than a decade and today has researchers writing software for future machines, and working with academic laboratories to craft devices. Alex Bocharov, a mathematician and computer scientist who is part of Microsoft Researchs Quantum Architectures and Computation group in Redmond, Washington, spoke to Nature about the companys work.

How did Microsoft end up focusing on perhaps the most difficult quantum-computing hardware of all topological qubits?

Were people-centric, rather than problem-centric. And quantum-computing dignitaries, such as Alexei Kitaev, Daniel Gottesman and, most notably, Michael Freedman [the Fields Medal-winning director of Microsofts Station Q research lab], spearheaded the growth of our quantum-computing groups. So it was Freedmans own trailblazing vision about how to do things that we followed.

Both IBM and Google use superconducting loops as their qubits. What are the qubits you are trying to harness?

Our qubits are not even material things. But then again, the elementary particles that physicists run in their colliders are not really solid material objects. Here we have non-abelian anyons, which are even fuzzier than normal particles. They are quasiparticles. The most studied kinds of anyon emerge from chains of very cold electrons that are confined at the edge of a 2D surface. These anyons act like both an electron and its antimatter counterpart at the same time, and appear as dense peaks of conductance at each end of the chain. You can measure them with high-precision devices, but not see them under any microscope.

Anyon-like particles were first predicted as stand-alone objects in 1937, and Kitaev suggested that quasiparticle versions could be used in quantum computers in 19971. But it was only in 2012 that physicists first claimed to have spotted them. Are you even certain that they exist?

We are pretty sure that the simplest species do exist. These were observed, we think, in 2012 by Leo Kouwenhoven at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands2. I wouldnt say there is 100% consensus on that, but Kouwenhovens observation has been reproduced in various other labs3. It doesnt really matter what exactly these excitations are, as long as they are measurable, and they can be used to perform calculations. Now it has come to a point where labs are putting together some very sophisticated equipment to produce those excitations in quantities and to try to start doing calculations.

Developing anyons seems very difficult. What are the advantages of using anyons rather than other kinds of qubit?

In most quantum systems, information is encoded in the properties of particles, and the slightest interaction with their surroundings will destroy their quantum state. This means they operate with a precision of maybe 99.9%, or what we call three nines. To do real problems, we need precision at the level of ten nines, so you need to create a massive array of qubits that allows you to correct for the errors. Topological quantum computing has the promise of reaching up to six or seven nines, which means we wouldn`t need to have this extensive and expensive error correction.

What about topological quantum computing makes it so robust?

Noise from the environment and other parts of the computer is inevitable, and that might cause the intensity and location of the quasiparticle to fluctuate. But thats OK, because we do not encode information into the quasiparticle itself, but in the order in which we swap positions of the anyons. We call that braiding, because if you draw out a sequence of swaps between neighbouring pairs of anyons in space and time, the lines that they trace look braided. The information is encoded in a topological property that is, a collective property of the system that only changes with macroscopic movements, not small fluctuations.

Microsoft has been working on topological quantum computing for more than a decade, for most of which the necessary qubits were hypothetical. Why are you playing such a long game?

Its a game worth playing, because the upside is enormous and there is practically no downside. Microsoft is a very affluent company; it sits on something like US$100 billion in cash. So what else one would you invest in? Bill Gates is also investing in other things to eradicate malaria and HIV that might require quantum computing at some point. Genomics, for example, so far has been done on classical computers and there is a possibility that some huge progress could be made with something like 100200 qubits on a quantum computer.

How many people does Microsoft have working on quantum computing, and how much are you spending?

A rough number I would say is 3540 people, but I dont think Im at liberty to speak about the amount of money, even in terms of rough estimates.

Your team has been working on developing software for this kind of quantum computer. What have you been up to?

So far, weve had an amazing ride in terms of creating more-efficient algorithms reducing the number of qubit interactions, known as gates, that you need to run certain computations that are impossible on classical computers. In the early 2000s, for example, people thought it would take about 24 billion years to calculate on a quantum computer the energy levels of ferredoxin, which plants use in photosynthesis. Now, through a combination of theory, practice, engineering and simulation, the most optimistic estimates suggest that it may take around an hour. We are continuing to work on these problems, and gradually switching towards more applied work, looking towards quantum chemistry, quantum genomics and things that might be done on a small-to-medium-sized quantum computer.

Isnt this jumping the gun, given that a working quantum computer that could handle such questions is still perhaps a decade away?

In the past, the question was always whether something was a problem where a quantum computer would be hypothetically better than a classical computer. Now we want to figure out, not just is it doable, but how doable is it? We need to move a lot of earth to figure that out, but its worth it, because we believe this is going to be a whole industry in itself.

(c) 2016 Emirates News Agency (WAM) Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info)., source Middle East & North African Newspapers

share with twitter share with LinkedIn share with facebook
share via e-mail
03:11p MICROSOFT : Inside Microsofts quest for a topological quantum computer
03:04p INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES : Frost & Sullivan Confer Cloud Company of the Y..
03:04p Global Software Testing Market 2016 Accenture, Capgemini, IBM, Wipro.
03:04p INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES : IBM Says Enterprise Mac Deployment Saves Money
02:36p INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES : Early Blockchain Adopters Kicking Tires
10/21 INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES : The Information Technology Industry Council (I..
10/21 WAL MART STORES : Mart partners with IBM to track food shipments in China
10/21 AIR MAURITIUS : takes IBM solution on board
10/21 INDIA : Early-stage startups to get a boost IBM and Indian Angel Network partner..
10/21 INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES : IBM and Walmart use blockchain technology to t..
More news
Sector news : Technology Consulting & Outsourcing Services
10/21DJCyberattack Knocks Out Access to Websites
10/20DJEU Court Adviser Backs Intel Appeal Over $1.17 Billion Fine
10/20 WIPRO : India's Wipro to buy U.S. cloud services company Appirio for $500 millio..
10/18DJSalesforce's M&A Target List Excluded Twitter
10/18DJINTEL : Earnings Rise, but Revenue Outlook Disappoints
More sector news : Technology Consulting & Outsourcing Services
News from SeekingAlpha
10/21 MICROSOFT : Still Undervalued?
10/20 INTEL : Bumper Year Ahead
10/20 IBM's Anecdote Of The Hole
10/19 IBM : What More Does The Market Want?
10/19 Intel's Process Leadership Slipping Away
Financials ($)
Sales 2016 79 811 M
EBIT 2016 14 493 M
Net income 2016 11 868 M
Debt 2016 33 764 M
Yield 2016 3,50%
P/E ratio 2016 12,21
P/E ratio 2017 11,80
EV / Sales 2016 2,22x
EV / Sales 2017 2,20x
Capitalization 143 023 M
More Financials
Duration : Period :
International Business Mac Technical Analysis Chart | IBM | US4592001014 | 4-Traders
Full-screen chart
Technical analysis trends INTERNATIONAL BUS...
Short TermMid-TermLong Term
Technical analysis
Income Statement Evolution
More Financials
Mean consensus HOLD
Number of Analysts 25
Average target price 156 $
Spread / Average Target 4,5%
Consensus details
EPS Revisions
More Estimates Revisions
Virginia M. Rometty Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer
James J. Kavanaugh Senior Vice President-Transformation & Operations
Martin J. Schroeter Chief Financial Officer & Senior Vice President
Jeff Smith Chief Information Officer
Sidney Taurel Independent Director
More about the company
Sector and Competitors
1st jan.Capitalization (M$)
SAMSUNG SDS CO LTD--.--%11 086
DHC SOFTWARE CO., LTD--.--%4 794
More Results