The Nordic outpost of Microsoft's US-based quantum research lab, Station Q, will be headed by professor Charles Marcus, one of four scientists Microsoft hired last year. Microsoft has tipped several million dollars into a new quantum computing R&D lab at Copenhagen University, Denmark. Microsoft has signed a multi-year deal with the university to collaborate on the development of a general-purpose quantum computer. Microsoft's staff will be working with the university's Niels Bohr Institute. The institute is headed up by professor Charles Marcus, one of four scientists Microsoft hired last year to accelerate its bet that it can create a scalable quantum computer.
The New South Wales government has announced funding a new initiative aimed at getting university students engaged with quantum computing. The AU$15.4 million Sydney Quantum Academy (SQA) initiative will see the University of Sydney (USyd), University of New South Wales (UNSW), Macquarie University, and University of Technology Sydney (UTS) encourage students to work with each other and train across the four universities. It is expected the funding will also be used to link students to industry through internships and research; support the development of quantum technology startup businesses; and promote Sydney as a quantum computing hub. The NSW government funding, combined with current university and future industry support, sees the total investment in the SQA pinned at around AU$35 million. "Our new investment will secure a pipeline of highly skilled quantum engineers, software experts and technicians to build and program these incredible machines as the technology becomes reality," Deputy Premier John Barilaro said.
Microsoft's quantum-computing project is led by Todd Holmdahl, a hardware veteran behind Microsoft's Xbox, Kinect, and soon-to-be-released HoloLens AR headset. Microsoft has hired a handful of top scientists to accelerate its program to develop quantum computing, as it steps up competition in the field with IBM and Google. Microsoft has hired four top physicists to join a quantum-computing project being led by Todd Holmdahl, a Microsoft hardware veteran who's helped develop Microsoft's Xbox and Kinect gaming devices, and the soon-to-be-released augmented reality headset, HoloLens. Holmdahl will be joined by quantum-computing leaders Leo Kouwenhoven from Delft University and Charles Marcus from the University of Copenhagen, as well as David Reilly, an experimental physicist from Sydney University, and Mattias Troyer, a professor of computational physics at ETH Zurich. Microsoft is betting on an approach to quantum computing known as topological design, centered on the topological qubit.
Microsoft is accelerating its efforts to make a quantum computer as it looks to a future of computing beyond today's PCs and servers. Microsoft has researched quantum computing for more than a decade. Now the company's goal is to put the theory to work and create actual hardware and software. To that effect, Microsoft has put Todd Holmdahl--who was involved in the development of Kinect, HoloLens, and Xbox--to lead the effort to create quantum hardware and software. The company has also hired four prominent university professors to contribute to the company's research.