New language is for super-computers that don’t currently exist.
Microsoft has revealed that it’s looking to get a head start on the rest of the competition when it comes to quantum computing, with the announcement that it’s to release a new programming language designed to be used with quantum computers – that crucially – will be fully compatible with Visual Studio.
Speaking at the Microsoft Ignite conference in his keynote speech, company CEO Satya Nadella said that Microsoft were investing heavily in quantum computing and how it one day soon be used to help some of the planet’s biggest problems and challenges.
He said: “…Microsoft has created an entirely new domain specific programming language optimized precisely for exploiting scalable quantum computers, a language that’s deeply integrated into Visual Studio… Through quantum computing, we can unlock solutions to problems in areas such as artificial intelligence, clean energy, global warming, materials design and much more.”
Sounds cool, can I pre-order from the Microsoft Store?
Announcing the new quantum language did have some industry commentators scratching their heads initially, as almost no one in the world owns or even has access to a quantum computer.
In real terms, quantum computers outside of a few research and development experiments don’t even really exist yet. Even Microsoft don’t own one, but it is trying to build one.
Fortunately, Microsoft have been working on a work around. The new quantum language will come with a quantum computing simulator. While the simulator needs around 32 GB of local RAM to run, developers will at least be able to both develop and debug quantum specific applications that utilize quantum specific algorithms.
Quantum computers in the garage?
The few quantum computers currently in existence are about the same size as a garage. That’s a key difference. Commercializing quantum computers is a bit of a conundrum. For them to work they currently need to be ran at a near-absolute zero temperature to remain stable. (That’s -273.15° Celsius, or -459.67° Fahrenheit scale. To put it another way, that’s really, really, really cold.)
Microsoft have said that the still unnamed quantum computing language will be released later this year.