Microsoft predicts five-year wait for quantum computing

Industry experts predict it will take 10 years for quantum computing to become a reality, but Microsoft believes it has the research edge, with systems, software and technology to get there in five.

“We are very close to figuring out a topological qubit. We are working on the cryogenic process to control it, and we are working on 3D nano printing,” said Todd Holmdahl, Microsoft corporate vice-president in charge of quantum computing.

“Competitors will need to connect a million qubits, compared with 1,000 in our quantum computing machine. It is about quality.”

The benefit of quantum computing, according to Holmdahl, is that it can compute much faster than traditional computers.

“Take the RSA-2408 challenge,” he said. “If you have a very long number made up of two prime factors, it would take a billion years to crack on a traditional computer, but with quantum computing RSA-2408 could be cracked in 100 seconds.”

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