Like many other international IT companies, Microsoft is on a mission to build a commercially viable quantum computer. As part of this quest, the firm has now developed a quasi-particle referred to as ‘Majorana fermion’. This is a type of fermion that can serve as its own antiparticle – and it might well form the basis of the company’s future quantum computers.
The Majorana fermion will be used to create quantum bits (also called qubits) which form the core elements quantum computers use for carrying out complex calculations.
Why is the Majorana different?
The Majorana fermion has the potential to be less error-prone, which makes it perfect for quantum computing applications.
Microsoft created these quasi-particles during a joint venture with the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. The company is now ready to build its own qubits.
The race to build the quantum computer
Microsoft is not the only international IT firm trying to solve the secret of the perfect qubit. Competitors such as Google and IBM are in fact ahead of Microsoft in the race to build a real-world quantum computer.
The fact that Microsoft has not been able to build a qubit that is fully functional in a quantum computer is probably the main reason it has been lagging behind until now.
If the company’s research turns out to be a success, it might just have found a way to catch up with (and perhaps even overtake!) its competitors in the attempt to build a viable, accurate and efficient quantum computer.