Quantum Computing has been considered one of the most significant next steps in the future of computing for many years now. However, the lack of easy-to-access options to access quantum computing resources has hindered the development path. However, Microsoft has long been working on this project and has finally made the Microsoft Azure Quantum platform available for public access. In an announcement made on 1st of February, the company introduced the world’s first full-stack public cloud ecosystem for quantum solutions, called Azure Quantum. As we can guess, the platform will be part of the Microsoft Azure suite.
Microsoft says that customers, researchers, developers, and learners can use the Azure Quantum platform to create quantum computing-based solutions while enjoying the convenience of the cloud. Since Microsoft has included all the necessary hardware and software support for the project, all professionals would find it easy to get started with their quantum projects. While unveiling the platform, Microsoft also threw light onto its Quantum Development Kit, Q# quantum programming language and the Quantum Intermediate Representation interface. The company says these elements will make it easy to get started with quantum computing and the Azure Quantum platform in the shortest time possible.
Probably the best part about Microsoft Azure Quantum is that it understands the power of hardware power. Instead of generating all the computing power by itself, Microsoft has established integration with multiple industry leaders. Honeywell, IonQ, Toshiba, 1Qbit and QCI are providers that users can access using the Azure Quantum platform. “Honeywell’s system leverages mid-compute measurement and qubit reuse, allowing developers to write quantum algorithms in uniquely impactful ways. IonQ’s system offers a dynamically reconfigurable system for up to 11 fully-connected qubits that lets you run a two-qubit gate between any pair,” says Microsoft about the real-world power of the platform.
Microsoft has also talked about how the platform is supported by enough educational material on the web. Through Microsoft Learn and the Quantum Research Centers, developers and researchers can understand how to use quantum computing resources to skyrocket their projects and ideas. The company also plans to conduct a few webinars and Q&A sessions that clear many doubts regarding the platform. The tech giant says that developers have already used the Azure Quantum platform to create some of the best solutions, including fighting cancer and logistics management. All these show how powerful the platform can be when equipped by the brightest minds in the world.
It is worth noting that the Microsoft Azure Quantum platform isn’t free to use. It wants users to pay an hourly fee based on the resources being used. The basic package sets users back at $10 per hour when using the platform to learn and develop. However, if customers are looking for maximum performance, generating all resources from potential options, the costs can reach up to $900 per hour. This pricing plan, once again, can show how scalable the Azure Quantum platform is built to be. Like Azure made cloud implementation easier and more common, Azure Quantum is designed to make quantum computing available for everyone.